Hartlebury Castle: Campaigners agree deal with church

Hartlebury Castle The castle was the official residence of the Bishop of Worcester from the 19th Century until 2007

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A campaign group hoping to buy the former residence of the Bishop of Worcester has reached a deal with its owners, the Church of England.

The Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust (HCPT) said it had agreed a new price for the freehold to the listed building with Church Commissioners.

The Heritage Lottery Fund turned down a bid for money from HCPT over concerns about the original £2.2m asking price.

HCPT will now reapply for lottery funding.

In the original bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund HCPT were asking £478,000 to help stop the castle being put on the open market.

Alison Brimelow from the HCPT said: "There is now going to be a big push for raising money because we are going to have to buy it - this is not a gift."

The deal has to be confirmed by the assets committee of the Church Commissioners.

The castle houses the county museum and the Hurd library, a collection of 5,000 volumes ranging in date from 1476 to the early 19th Century, and includes more than 40 volumes from the library of Alexander Pope.

It was the home of the Bishop of Worcester until 2007.

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