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Arch at Gunnersbury Park

Arch that links park’s history to be restored

A historically significant arch at Gunnersbury Park is to be the latest piece of heritage to be lovingly restored as part of the large-scale project taking place there.

The arch is on the south-east terrace of the large mansion building and it will be restored thanks to a £5,000 grant from Heritage of London.

This news follows the recent announcement that an impressive carriage will be restored as part of the ongoing and huge transformation project on the site being undertaken by a partnership of the Gunnersbury Park and Museum Development Trust, Ealing and Hounslow councils and the Heritage Lottery Fund. It is also being supported by a number of other charitable trusts and foundations. The project will restore and reinvigorate the park, safeguarding its unique history and character for future generations.

It is believed the Grade II listed arch was constructed in the 1830s as part of the Rothschild family’s improvements to their property at the time. It was originally an alcove marking the boundary between Gunnersbury Park House’s (known now as the Large Mansion) estate and that of Gunnersbury House (the Small Mansion). Upon the two estates being reunited in 1889 it was remodelled into an archway. When the estate became a public park two commemorative plaques were installed to mark the opening by the then Health Minister, Sir Neville Chamberlain.

The walls, masonry and render of the arch will be restored and its problems of damp will be addressed. The roof will be restored to a pitched Welsh slate roof mirroring the arch to the west of the terrace. The original commemorative plaques, will be cleaned and treated by a specialist conservator.

Howard Simmons, chairman of the Gunnersbury Museum and Park Development Trust, said: “We would like to express our gratitude to the Heritage of London Trust for supporting the work to this wonderful physical reminder of the heritage of Gunnersbury Park.”

Dr Nicola Stacey, director of the Heritage of London Trust, said: “We are delighted to support the Gunnersbury Arch which commemorates the opening up of this very special parkland to the public in 1926. We look forward to seeing the transformation of Gunnersbury Park over the next few years.”

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