The Grange detail
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Gothic Temple
Martello Tower

Heritage Heroes Award

Winners of Ecclesiastical’s Heritage Heroes Awards 2017 announced

England’s heritage sector simply couldn’t function without the hard work and dedication of its volunteers. Research found that in 2015 8% of people volunteered their time in the heritage, museum or library sectors equating to roughly 4.2 million people. Ecclesiastical’s Heritage Heroes Award is the Heritage Alliance’s celebration of the amazing achievements of volunteers.

This year there were two winners:

  • David Martyn, founder and Chair of the King’s Weston Action Group; and
  • Norman Hudson, Chairman, Country Houses Foundation
The Ecclesiastical’s Heritage Hero Award for 2017 goes to David Martyn, founder and Chair of the King’s Weston Action Group, who has never missed a single working party since they began in 2012. An extraordinary achievement in creating something truly reborn through a combination of historical research, fund raising, promotion, bold measures to create new public access and above all attracting teams of over 300 people on work parties to get change underway. This project has turned a neglected urban edge area of Council owned overgrown parkland from a crime and antisocial behaviour hotspot to something truly loved, a visitor destination with parking problems at weekends. It has recreated the graceful and attractive historic parkland setting for a major Grade One listed Baroque house just outside Bristol.

We have increasingly felt a wish to recognise exceptional individual achievement over a period of time and we have decided to create an Ecclesiastical’s Heritage Hero – Outstanding Contribution Award category for future years. We start this new award by recognising an extraordinary effort and commitment to the rescue and survival of country houses and estate buildings which contain some of our finest art and architecture but are a never-ending financial headache. Within living memory we faced widespread demolition of these types of building as being too costly to maintain and even now there is a continual search for new uses and sources of income. Today we celebrate someone who has truly rolled up his sleeves to this task and who has led a small charity whose grants and advice – £9 million to 170 buildings over 8 years – have often made all the difference to a building’s survival. It is said that there are few places in England Wales where you will be far from a project where he has personally contributed advice and support and that he is as much at home on rain lashed scaffolding on a roof as facing a mountain of paper at the Trust’s Board. Our Ecclesiastical’s Heritage Hero Award 2017 – Outstanding Contribution goes to Norman Hudson, Chairman, Country Houses Foundation.


Ecclesiastical Insurance

Heritage Day is made possible through the kind sponsorship of Ecclesiastical Insurance.