News page

In 2016 Highcliffe Castle was awarded its second round of Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF), skip forward to August 2017 and Greendale Construction LTD have arrived on site and our weekly updates begin! We suggest starting at the bottom so that you can read in order. Happy reading!

Monday 19th March 2018

The works have been coming along nicely in the last few weeks, and we have another before and after for you.

The two images on the right hand side are both taken from the same spot. The first, on the left, was taken shortly after Greendale came on site in September while the second photo taken a few days ago shows the same spot with the ceiling having been installed and the door at the end of the corridor having been put in.

This whole section of the castle has been  impassable for some 50 years and it is wonderful that it is in place again!

Monday 19th March 2018

This week we have been preparing for the completion of the first phase of the project to be handed back ready for opening on 17 March.

The gift shop has seen the oak flooring be installed and we have switched the underfloor heating on now, so it will be rather toasty in there!

All the different trades people have been working together to prepare the gift shop and surrounding areas, so the electricians have installing the new lighting and till. The function of the automatic doors has been improved. The painters have been decorating and the carpenters and ironmongers installing their pieces of the shop jigsaw puzzle.

Friday 9 February 2018

This week has seen several changes in the castle. In the centre of the building the ceilings have had metal casing installed which has now been packed with insulation following on from the cabling that has been run for the fire safety system.

The floors in the furthest area of the Penleaze wing have also been laid ready for the next stage of the works.

The site was a real hive of activity this week so we look forward to bringing you next weeks updates!




31 January 2018

The floors and walls are now in place for the new bar store and pantry area for the preparation and storage of drinks for weddings and events. As you can see in the photo the original fireplace has been stabilised and left in place so as to not damage any of the original building.

The floorboards in the furthest end of the Penleaze wing were suffering badly with rot thus they have needed to be removed. The cavities below were then exposed leading to the discovery of years worth of detritus. The wooden beams supporting the floorboards above the brick supports were also suffering with rot in several places leading which needs to be sawed out. The photo on the right shows this being done by Greendale. These gaps will then be replaced and by the end of the week the new flooring will be laid.

We set up the GoPro again this week and have footage of a brick wall being installed.

24 January 2018

Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. 

This week our focus is on brickwork.

You can see from the two pictures on the bottom that the redder brickwork is much newer but very much in keeping with the original bricks.

The archway that can be seen in the image on the top right hand has always been out in the open, however, with the removal of the old door that used to sit just inside this, this space has been opened up and the archway is now far more spectacular architecturally!

Did you know that the first bricks were made back in 4000BC!


19 January 2018

The stonemasons have been in this week! The mullions in the windows have been restored. The top photo shows one of these stonemasons painting the lattice of the windows after the stone work had been restored.

During the destruction of the fires in the 1960’s here at the castle a stone staircase that would have been used by the servants was destroyed. 8-10 of the original steps remain at the ground floor level and the stonemasons have managed to restore these and replace the top few steps. This stair case will be added to with a new staircase being connected to continue it from the ground floor to the first floor.


Wednesday 10 January 2018

Greendale are well rested after their Christmas break and are back and hard at work. Temporary scaffolding has been re-erected ready for the final touches to be made to the staircases. The bannisters should be going in next week and the connecting flooring with the current landing level and the staircases will be put in in the coming weeks ahead of us opening in March. These staircases will allow access to the first floor bedroom and the tower that will become a block of staff offices.


At the end of the Penleaze wing, on the second floor, there will be a stained glass window exhibition and studio. The photo below shows the new flooring in place which members of the team are stood on. While this may not seem wildly exciting it is the first time that humans will have stood at this level since the fires burnt away the floors 50 years ago!



Wednesday 20 December 2017

We now have two new staircases which have been installed from the first floor landing up towards the upper floors and underfloor heating has been laid in the new shop area. The staircase is still waiting on a few treads that need to be

installed but the main structure is now in place as can be seen in the picture to the right.

The underfloor heating on the right has now been covered with screed ready for the flooring to be laid over the top.



Wednesday 6 December 2017

Wall-y –Wall-y good progress this week

Who would you have known that a brick wall could be so exciting? There are still a few inches to come off this wall at the ends, however, it is almost in its final condition. The photo to the right shows the remainder of the wall which minus a few inches is now at its final size.

The room above the gift shop will be staff offices when the works have finished. The photo at the bottom on the right shows this room which has had the wall supported by a beam, this area of the floor



Wednesday 30 November 2017

To the window, to the wall… through the brickwork I do crawl!

While Greendale talk with very specialist knowledge (and we are glad that they do!) we still know the rooms by their old names, which does sometimes lead to some confusion!  When they speak of mezzanine 6’s new flooring we aren’t quite sure how to react, but the moment we see it we cannot believe our eyes!

The new shop is coming on leaps and bounds, or brick by brick one might say! The wall they have removed so as to extend the gift shop is a supporting wall, so part of the process was to support it from above, which they have now done! The photos on the left show a chap from Greendale working on the supporting joist. While the photo below shows the new floor level in mezzanine 6. The flooring in this section of the building has be interesting as there is a mix of new and old! Some of the old joisting from the flooring was saved and has been strengthened and incorporated into the new flooring!



Wednesday 4 October 2017

This week has seen further head way in the preparation of the grounds with more scaffolding being put installed into the Penleaze wing. Flagstones have been brought up to make way for cement to be laid in the old kitchen area.

A new flooring level has been erected in the penleaze wing between the old kitchens in the basement and the ground floor of the Penleaze wing, which it was discovered was a study in the 1950’s.

We are seeing little changes all the time and the photos attached show a section of the building where the new flooring has been laid. As well as a fireplace and old door way that has been uncovered from behind the old bar store.



Wednesday 27 September 2017

This week has seen fewer visible changes than the last few weeks have shown, with much of the ground work being prepared rather than any of the exciting discoveries of the last two updates.

However, progress is being made with Greendale having lifted the flagstones in the old kitchens and servants quarters so that these can be re-laid after the works are completed. Scaffolding has also started to be installed in the Penleaze wing.

We are starting to see small changes here at the castle and it is all very exciting!



Wednesday 18 September 2017

This week has seen some real headway with the restoration works, with Greendale uncovering some pale yellow tiles, which our Archives team estimate to be from the Victorian period. It is suggested in a 1950’s plan of the house that this room, at the far end of the Penleaze wing, was a study. Two book shelves have also been discovered with the Archives team looking into when these date from.

We have also had Tim from Context Engineering LTD on site to remove the range so that it may be restored and reinstalled into the kitchen once the works have been completed. The decision was taken during the planning process that the range should not be brought back to working, or near working order, but rather left in the way it is currently with minor cosmetic improvements to make it safe to be on show to the public. It is one of the oldest ranges of its kind in the country.

It has been fascinating to have Tim on site and watch as he has brushed away decades worth of soot from the range! He says that this is likely to have fallen down from the chimneys back into the oven as it has been unused since the 1960s.




Wednesday 13 September 2017

This week has seen the Penleaze wing stripped of the old internal office furnishings. The Penleaze wing has housed the staff offices for the last 10 years as the wing was unsafe for the public to visit but had been stabilised for use as an office.

Marble door surrounds and original paint work has been uncovered in this stage of the works. See the photos to the left hand side. Some fantastically contrasting paint work or pistachio green and lavender wall paper.

This fireplace has also been uncovered in a space where before there was a dishwasher!