STAFF and volunteers at Compton Verney are celebrating after winning a prestigious national architectural award.
The country house gallery near Wellesbourne overcame strong opposition to win the Georgian Group’s special ‘Capability’ Brown Tercentenary award for the recently completed project to restore the historic chapel and landscape.
Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown changed the face of 18th century England with his landscaping designs for country estates, including the 120 acres of parkland at Compton Verney.
Alongside the restoration of the Grade I listed chapel the focus of the Compton Verney project has been the refurbishment and reinstatement of key elements of the Grade II listed historic landscape, together with the construction of a new visitor centre and improved access and interpretation.
The £3.7million project was funded by a major grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund together with significant donations from other grant giving bodies and charitable trusts.
The Compton Verney restoration project – overseen by architects Purcell and landcsape architects BEA Landscape Design – had been shortlisted alongside Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire and Trentham in Staffordshire, both of which were commended.
Professor Steven Parissien, director of Compton Verney, said: “We are thrilled that our restoration project has been recognised by such an important national body as the Georgian Group.
“It is especially gratifying to win the ‘Capability’ Brown award in this the tercentenary year of the great landscape gardener, and also knowing the quality of the other entries.”
* OVER 40 miniature paintings, not previously seen in public, have now gone on show at Compton Verney.
The works are part one of the most important collections of this art form held anywhere in the world. The collection consists of 842 works in total, and has been generously loaned on a permanent basis by Simon Dumas, following the death of his father in 2013.
Mr Dumas said: “We wanted Dad’s exceptionally broad and, in the context of miniatures, important collection to be in the Midlands; and not in London, Cambridge or Oxford, since the Victoria and Albert Museum and National Portrait Gallery, the Fitzwilliam and the Ashmolean already have such wonderfully rich resources to display.”