Historic house set to welcome visitors and tenants again under National Trust plans

May 03 2016

PLANS are being drawn up by the National Trust to repair Horton Court and allow people to once again visit part of the historically important premises.

Horton Court

PLANS are being drawn up by the National Trust to repair Horton Court and allow people to once again visit part of the historically important premises.
The grade one-listed manor house, near Chipping Sodbury, was built from the remains of a 12th century Norman hall.
Hilda Wills, a daughter of the Bristol tobacco family, donated it to the National Trust in the 1940s.
The trust leased it out as a home, with an element of public access, but the last tenants left in 2008 and visits had to stop four years later due to the condition of the premises.
However, it has been a popular location for filming, featuring in the likes of TV series Poldark and Wolf Hall.
Lately it was used to film scenes for a supernatural drama to be screened by BBC1 called The Living and The Dead.
It stars Colin Morgan - from The Fall and Merlin - in the lead role of Nathan Appleby and Charlotte Spencer (Glue, Stonemouth and Line of Duty) as Charlotte Appleby, with theseries expected to be shown later this year.
The proposals to repair and rejuvenate Horton Court mean it will again be used as a private rented house, with selected parts open to visitors.
Recently an open evening was held on site for local people to hear about the early-stage plans and have a guided tour.
National Trust representatives also asked for comments to help them progress proposals and during a presentation, were told it was vital for at least some of the building and grounds to be open to visitors.
Among the work planned will be the removal of late 19th and early 20th century extensions within an internal, dank courtyard to improve drainage and resolve damp problems. More natural light will also be allowed into the building.
In a report, South Gloucestershire Council conservation officer Ian Gething said: “The option to retain the house as a private dwelling, as proposed, appears to be the most sympathetic and sensitive solution that will hopefully meet the trust’s stated aims, whilst protecting the very special character and interest of Horton Court.
But he also said: “The trust should be mindful of removing extensive amounts of the 20th century work, which could be seen by some as adding another layer to the social history and development of the building.