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Wednesday, 7 November, 2001, 15:42 GMT
Grant to repair crumbling castles
Sheriff Hutton Castle
Sheriff Hutton Castle needs emergency work
The future of two 14th Century castle ruins are more secure after English Heritage announced grants totalling 1m.

Sheriff Hutton Castle, near York, and Harewood Castle, north of Leeds, are both listed as urgent priorities in the English Heritage "Buildings at Risk Register 2001".

The castles will receive 444,385 and 500,000 respectively for urgent repairs over the next few years.

David Fraser, English Heritage regional director, said: "These grants underline our commitment to tackling problems highlighted in our Buildings at Risk Register."

Harewood Castle
Harewood has been a ruin since the 17th Century

Privately-owned Sheriff Hutton - a Grade II listed building - will have emergency repairs to its 30-metre tall north-east tower.

Grade 1 listed Harewood Castle will undergo a three-year repair and consolidation programme.

Mr Fraser added: "Owners of ancient monuments often face an uphill struggle to maintain their buildings.

"We are constantly striving to help them find workable solutions and as these grants make clear, we are prepared to invest in the threatened historic environment where we can."

Sheriff Hutton Castle has been in the family of Dr Richard Haworth since 1940.

The only previous repair work dates back to the early 19th Century and in the latest register it is classed as being in poor condition and at risk of further rapid deterioration.

Built in the late 14th Century by Lord John Nevill of Raby, it was eventually owned by Richard III, whose son is buried in the village church.

Turner painting

Repair work, which follows an English Heritage-funded condition survey, will tackle crumbling masonry and should be completed next year, in time to mark the 550th anniversary of the birth of Richard III.

Harewood Castle was built by Sir William Aldeburgh in the 14th Century and assumed its present ruinous state by the 17th Century.

It was captured on canvas by William Turner in 1797.

Repairs will be undertaken in three phases, starting with repair and consolidation of the south-east and south-west towers.

Work will get under way next summer and is likely to last until 2005.

See also:

01 Nov 01 | England
Prehistoric hill fort unearthered
30 Oct 00 | UK
What is heritage?
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