The project Team is chaired by Councillor Jean Rigby and was put together to try to develop a sustainable plan to bring the original Stable block back to life, whilst still retaining the heritage and unique features of the building. The group is compiled of Council Officers who specialise in funding applications, heritage issues and public consultation exercises, as well as volunteers from The Friends of Turton Tower.
The project team have undertaken a series of consultation exercises to gather ideas from volunteers and members of the public. Suggestions have been varied and have included restaurant, wedding venue, educational space and a centre for artisan arts& crafts.(perhaps a photo that Margaret took at the workshop)
The team have secured a £10,000 start-up grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to undertake a Conditions Survey and an Options appraisal. The Conditions Survey is available to read in full.
As research for the project the team have visited Heron Corn Mill and Haworth Stables and Motor House, who have both been recipients of Heritage Lottery Funding. The visits have been undertaken to gather ideas and share information for the next stage of a further funding application.
The Old Piggery
Directly in front of the stables is the old piggery and an enclosing wall. In spring 2016 a site visit was undertaken with Cllr. Jean Rigby, Tim Birch (the then Neighbourhood Manager) and Jude Harrison together with Peter Isherwood and Linda Clarkson, both from the Drystone Walling Association to discuss renovating the drystone wall around the piggery. Peter Isherwood is a master craftsman and he supervised the re-building of the wall by his apprentice, Andrew Eckersley. The project was used by Andrew as part of his practical qualification, and the renovation of the wall met the Association’s very high standards.
The Drystone Walling Association also delivers training sessions to raise awareness about the heritage of walling and has been supported by The Heritage Lottery Fund. It is hoped that Turton Tower can host several dry-stone walling workshops in the future to showcase this historic rural craft.
The Stables project group would like to hold a series of taster sessions to showcase rural skills such as dry stone walling, willow weaving and coppice work. For more information watch this space to secure a place. If you have ideas of workshops you would be interested in attending, please let us know your suggestions.