The objectives of the Forest of Dean Buildings Preservation Trust are to preserve for the benefit of the people of the Forest of Dean District and of the Nation, the historical, architectural and constructional heritage that may exist in and around the Forest of Dean District in its land and buildings (including any structure or erection, and any part of a building as so defined) of particular beauty or historical, architectural or constructional interest.
The Forest of Dean Buildings Preservation Trust (FoDBPT) was formed in 2009, with the encouragement of the County and District Councils, to take on the ownership of historic monuments and buildings at risk in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley areas and to raise the funds to conserve them.
The Trust’s first project was the acquisition of the Whitecliff Ironworks from the Dean Heritage Museum Trust. Following the stabilisation of the main furnace as part of the Overlooking the Wye AONB programme, the Whitecliff Ironworks site now requires specialist repair and conservation which the FoDBPT is ideally qualified to do. The first stage, now underway, is the repair of the culvert alongside the road frontage.
Since then, the FoDBPT has acquired Gunns Mill, a Scheduled Monument high on the English Heritage Monuments at Risk Register which was gifted to the Trust in 2012 by its owner, William Parker, with a view to rescue, conservation, and a new end use. The project ahead is large. The task has the approval of the District Council and English Heritage.
In 2013, the Trust acquired a further Scheduled Monument in clear need of attention, the Church of St James, Lancaut. This had once belonged to Gloucestershire Heritage Trust, but ownership had been lost when that Trust dissolved itself without appointing a successor. The church reverted to the Crown, which agreed to vest it in the FoDBPT under the escheat procedure.
The Trust has received very welcome support from Gloucestershire Environmental Trust, which has offered grants totalling £243,500 towards work on the three monuments in the Trust’s ownership. Other funding has been received from Forest of Dean District Council, English Heritage, Wye Valley AONB and Coleford Area Partnership.
Discussions are also underway with Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage, the Architectural Heritage Fund and other trusts.
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© 2014 Forest of Dean Buildings Preservation Trust
Reg. Charity No. 1147757; A company limited by guarantee No. 6859885