In the last issue of this magazine, Richard Mills summarised our project to conserve the grotto. Although the project has been delayed by a change of ownership of the grotto and by the pandemic, the Trust has continued to work and raise funds.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund has now awarded £247,200 towards the £384,000 project, with other donations coming from a range of charitable trusts and foundations. The project will comprise cleaning, conservation and re-illumination of Pope’s mineral-encrusted grotto. Planning is under way and we have just appointed Victoria Northwood to be our project manager. Victoria brings a wealth of experience in similar projects. An Outreach and Volunteers Officer will be appointed shortly. Conservation work, to be carried out in the summer of 2022, will include the North chamber and entrance, plus the entire central chamber.
We hope to be able to open the grotto to visitors twice in June and later in the year, subject to current restrictions being lifted. Sign up to our email list or follow us on social media to be kept informed. popesgrotto.org.uk