Council provides £50k grant to preserve Burford’s history

THE fascinating history of Burford an Oxfordshire town will help to be preserved thanks to new grant funding.
Falkland Hall Burford

THE fascinating history of an Oxfordshire town will help to be preserved thanks to new grant funding.

A sum totalling £50,000 has been donated by West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC) in the hope it will help safeguard Burford’s history for future generations.

Falkland Hall Charity have been awarded the money to keep alive the town’s history, dating from medieval times all the way through to the present day.

The charity have purchased an eighteenth century barn on Swan Lane in the centre of the town to house the Burford Community Archive.

The restoration will also include a one bedroom garden flat to ensure the long-term sustainability of the project for years to come.

John Yeatman, treasurer of Falkland Hall Charity, said: “It’s important that we provide a facility that will benefit the people of our great town for generations to come.

“We’re delighted to have been awarded £50,000 from the council’s community facilities grant scheme.

“It’s fantastic that the council is behind us and we thank them for endorsing our project.

“The next phase requires support from the local community and businesses to bring the project into fruition.

“I would like to encourage anyone wishing to donate to reach out to us.”

The grant funding has helped Falkland Hall Charity to cover the cost of purchasing the barn, planning consents, and legal and architect fees.

The charity is now exploring new funding possibilities to enable the restoration to be completed and the conversion of the barn to house the archive.

The community archive will help preserve Burford’s wealth of historic and contemporary material that is currently in the hands of private collectors.

When complete, the archive will include medieval documents dating way back to 1350, including photographs, postcards and personal memorabilia.

It will also feature records of Burford’s many societies, plans, maps and newspaper cuttings from significant events in the town.

In time, the charity intends to digitise the entire collection to ensure future generations will have access to the town’s rich history.

Once the project is completed, the charity plans to make Burford Community Archive free and accessible to all, except for commercial use.

The archive will also run historical and educational courses and assist with genealogical research.

Burford’s history ranges from hotels frequented by King Charles II and his mistress Nell Gwynn, to England’s oldest pharmacy, a chemist’s in the town since 1734.

Martin Holland, business manager, contracts at WODC, said: “This is an excellent example of grant funding empowering the community.

“I am sure residents and users will be delighted with the end result.

“We actively encourage our communities to apply for grants schemes to help towards projects or community groups that will contribute positively to the health and wellbeing of residents and quality of community life.”

Information on how to apply for community and leisure grants can be found on the council’s website.

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steve clarke
Author: steve clarke