Gothic tower at Wimpole Estate is voted best in Europe

Dr Wendy Monkhouse - Curator

Dr Wendy Monkhouse - Curator - Credit: Archant

A gothic tower at Wimpole Estate has been named one of the winners of a prestigious European prize for cultural heritage.

The recently restored 18th century tower is among the winners of the 2016 European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage /Europa Nostra Awards, Europe’s highest honour in the heritage field.

The awards recognise great achievements in conservation, research, dedicated service, and education, training and awareness-raising.

Wimpole’s Gothic Tower, cared for by the National Trust, is one of only two UK winners in the conservation category of the awards, which were revealed last week by the European Commission and Europa Nostra.

Wendy Monkhouse, National Trust curator in the East of England, said: “We’re delighted to have been recognized by the European Commission and Europa Nostra for the work we’ve done on the Gothic Tower – it’s the most prestigious heritage award in Europe, and it means a lot to the National Trust and to the staff and volunteers at Wimpole.

“The success of the project has been achieved by understanding the building and its needs, painstaking research, and meticulous attention to detail, to enable a stone by stone conservation to be undertaken.

“This standard of conservation was made possible by funding managed by Natural England, some special bequests to the National Trust, and the support from our members.

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“Many people know and love the magnificent mansion and the 18th century farm, but the tower was an almost forgotten ruin – a kind of sleeping beauty, literally surrounded by briar roses and nettles.

“Now, with its reinstated crenellations triumphant on the main tower, it sits once more at the focal point of the landscape designed by Capability Brown, whose tercentenary we are celebrating this year.”

Wimpole’s Gothic Tower will be further considered for one of seven Grand Prix awards along with one chosen in a public vote.

To vote for your favourite, visit the website at