Glynde Place in East Sussex has been crowned the winner of the 2017 Historic Houses Restoration Award, sponsored by Sotheby’s. 

The Restoration Award recognises and celebrates the work being undertaken by members of Historic Houses throughout the United Kingdom. These projects reflect the dedication of owners to the care and sympathetic restoration of the incredible buildings that they own, inhabit and share with the public. 

Owned by the same family since it was built in 1569, Grade I listed Glynde is today the family home of Francis and Caroline Brand (Lord and Lady Hampden) and their three children. The house sits at the heart of a modern estate which offers residential and commercial properties as well as weddings and concerts. 

The building has developed with each generation, however upon inheriting the house the family were met with the stark reality of a large house divided into distinct areas, some of which were neglected, damp and unsuitable for use a family home. The Brands set out to restore this beautiful Elizabethan mansion to its former glory as a lived-in home, to conserve the historic fabric, integrate modern services, and create an event and visitor area. 

A specialist team created a new entrance hall, now full of family photos and evidence of everyday life, with a “Great Door” that sits behind the original medieval oak door which was repaired and retained.

Two unstable curved window bays, which on occasion sent glass crashing to the ground, were rebuilt. Structural repairs were undertaken and damaged Elizabethan stained glass was sent to a specialist conservator. Additionally, the Gallery ceiling was restored to its former glory using original materials and traditional methods.

As well as preventing this house from falling into further disrepair, creating a homely environment for the family, and enabling the general public to experience and use the space, the project has led to numerous opportunities for study by scholars and apprentices. 

Viscount Hampden said: 

It is a great honour to have won the Historic Houses/Sotheby’s Restoration Award. When we started this project the trustees and I were trying to secure the integrity of the estate  for future generations. The craftsmanship of the team put together by the architects GQA has put new life into Glynde Place and ensured its relevance as both a family home and the working centre of the estate.

Historic Houses President James Birch said:

Once again we received a wide range of brilliant applications for this year’s Restoration Award, reflecting how passionately our members look after their houses. The team has achieved huge amounts with the restoration of Glynde Place and the attention to detail and hard work involved is very impressive. The Brand family are not alone in the work they have undertaken. It is estimated that Historic Houses members spend around £85 million a year on regular repairs and maintenance but the value of outstanding repairs is still around £1.38 billion. Independently owned historic houses are hugely important and keeping them in good repair is vital not just for the enjoyment of the general public, but for the rural economy and the areas in which they are situated.