It has been announced that Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall has become patron of the Fulham Palace Trust. Mariana Spater, Fulham Palace chairman said: “It is a truly great honour and I am delighted to welcome Her Royal Highness as Patron to Fulham Palace. We look forward to sharing our next phase of restoration and exciting future plans with The Duchess, continuing the long and rich history of the palace.”
The Duchess’s patronage begins as the trust embarks on a major restoration project which will see £3.8 million worth of major improvements to the grounds and rooms of the palace.
The project – known as Discovering the Bishop of London’s Palace at Fulham – will include the restoration of key historic rooms such as the 15th century Great Hall, improvements to the Tudor Quadrangle and improved access to the botanical gardens. When complete, the palace will offer new innovative interpretations and exhibitions and the gardens will display a variety of plants historically first grown in the ground’s botanical garden.
A portion of the project’s funding will be supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which has afforded the trust a £1.88m grant, and the rest of the needed capital is being actively fundraised by the Fulham Palace Trust. The trust has so far received financial support and contributions from a large number of individuals, foundations and other trusts, and stands just £245,000 short of the funding they need to ensure the project goes ahead. In addition to the restoration fees, the trust has raised a further £15,000 through a month-long crowdfunding campaign which has allowed them to find a three-week community archaeology dig in the palace’s grounds.
Restoration work is due to begin before the end of 2017 and it is predicted that the major works will be completed by spring 2019 with final landscaping and reinvigoration completing in early 2020.