October 2021

A grant from Historic England has been awarded to Raby Estate for important repairs to Raby Castle’s historic 14th century Keep Tower, and the 19th century clock faces and sundial. The Keep is one of Raby’s nine towers, located in the centre of the castle. In the medieval period the base of the Keep incorporated access to the castle’s well, and the tower protected this important source of fresh water. Above ground, each floor provided levels of living accommodation for members of the powerful Nevill family and their retinue.

Over the centuries, the roof of The Keep has benefitted from repair and maintenance. Along with the rest of the castle, it is inspected regularly by Castle architects Donald Insall Associates. This grant allows re-roofing, repairs and conservation work to take place in early 2022, replacing cracked and patched sections of the lead work and keeping the castle and its contents safe from water damage.

The two historic clock dials and the castle sundial are open to the elements on the north and south walls of The Keep. Over time, the faces of these historic timepieces have been damaged by the harsh British weather and will receive full conservation and restoration by historic clock specialists. Repainted and gilding using traditional, hardwearing techniques will breathe new life into the faces of the historic timepieces so that they can continue to display the time in the years to come.

Harry Vane, 12th Lord Barnard is the current owner of the castle, whose family have lived in the spectacular medieval building for almost 400 years. Lord Barnard thanked Historic England and Historic Houses Foundation for awarding this grant to Raby;

“We are delighted to have been awarded funding by Historic England via the Historic Houses Foundation to carry out important repair and conservation work on Raby Castle’s historic Keep Tower. This grant supports the vital programme of ongoing repair and maintenance required to ensure that this outstanding Grade I listed building can be enjoyed by future generations”.

The grant, from Historic England, has been received through the Historic Houses Foundation as part of the second round of the Heritage Stimulus Fund.

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