Hadlow Tower receives Lloyd-Webber awards

Restored Hadlow Tower
Image caption Hadlow Tower's decorative features were restored using natural lime-based materials

Campaigners who saved a Grade I listed Victorian Gothic landmark in Kent have won two English Heritage awards.

The restoration of Hadlow Tower, which formed part of Hadlow Castle, took two years and involved strengthening the building with a new steel core.

The Vivat Trust and Save Hadlow Tower Action Group received Angel Awards from Lord Lloyd-Webber.

A south London pub, a Leicestershire church and a County Durham lead mine also received awards.

Hadlow Tower was commissioned by local landowner Walter Barton May in 1835 and built by George Ledwell Taylor, who designed parts of Sheerness and Chatham dockyards.

It was badly damaged in the great storm of 1987 and transferred to the Vivat Trust by Tonbridge and Malling Council, which served a compulsory purchase order on the former owner in 2006.

Vivat Trust director Laura Norris said: "Save Hadlow Tower Action Group and the Vivat Trust have been working together on the restoration of the Hadlow Tower for the past 13 years.

"We think it was worth the wait.

"Seeing the tower being unveiled as the scaffolding came down was a delight to us all."

The tower was restored with grants from English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

It has now been removed from English Heritage's at risk register and opened as a visitor's centre and holiday accommodation.

Most of Hadlow Castle is now lost.

Three other Angel Awards went to restoration projects at Low Slit Mine, Bishop Auckland, Ivy House community pub in Southwark and the Church of St James the Greater, Ab Kettleby.

The annual awards, founded by Lord Lloyd-Webber, were presented at London's Palace Theatre.

The awards "reward the efforts of local people in saving their heritage".

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