Hedingham Castle’s New Front Door
Hedingham Castle unveiled its new front door this week after the previous one was vandalised last summer and no longer able to secure the 900-year-old Keep. The Oak for the new door was very kindly donated by Mr. and Mrs. Collins of Rushley Green Farm, located just a field away from the Hedingham Estate in Castle Hedingham, Essex.
It is believed that the previous door, which was fitted in the 1920s after the Great Fire of Hedingham, originally came from a pub in the village, although there have been no records found to confirm this. After the door was vandalised during an attempted break-in of the Keep in the summer of 2020, the damage done to the door was so severe that it was unable to be repaired, despite best efforts from the owners, and was therefore no longer fit for purpose. As such, the journey to source a new door began.
Estate chatelaine, Demetra Lindsay, also a practicing architect, carried out extensive research alongside Historic England, to find a suitable style for the replacement, given the Keep’s 900-year Norman history. It transpires that there are only 8 remaining Norman doors of similar properties in the UK, all of which fit the decorative arch, a popular Norman architectural feature, in which they are housed. As such, Hedingham Castle’s new door is much grander than its predecessor, however it is much more in-keeping with the style of the historic building.
The door was designed by Demetra Lindsay, owner of Hedingham Castle, and Dr Jess Tipper, Archaeological Advisor for Historic England, in collaboration with Nick Jacob of Nicholas Jacob Architects, Ipswich. Scheduled Ancient Monument Consent was required for the installation of the door. The project was funded by a Heritage Grant from the Historic House Foundation.
‘We are hugely grateful to have been awarded the grant by the Historic Houses Foundation to be able to carry out this essential work on the Keep and continue to preserve and protect such an important historic monument. We are also incredibly grateful to our neighbours, Mr. and Mrs. Collins, for their wonderfully kind and generous donation of the Oak for the door, which will age, as all Oak does, to a beautiful silvery grey within the year and be most befitting of the Keep’s aesthetic. We are very much looking forward to visitors and wedding guests seeing the new door on their trips here this summer.’ Demetra Lindsay, Owner and Chatelaine of Hedingham Castle.
Hedingham Castle and grounds is currently open for garden walks at weekends, with an extensive open-air event calendar now live for the summer months. For more information, please click here.
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