Castle’s £590,000 windfall defies spending cuts

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One of Rotherham’s historic landmarks, Boston Castle, is closer to being restored and brought back into public use - despite plans to improve it being scaled down.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has given a £590,000 grant towards a £1.2 million project to make essential repairs and restoration work to the interior and exterior of the castle.

There were fears the project would suffer from spending cuts.

The listed castle has been semi-derelict and out of use for the past decade, but dates back to 1775 and was built by the Earl of Effingham as a hunting lodge.

It is situated in the centre of the 23-acre Boston Park, with views over the Rother and Don rivers.

Coun Iain St John, Rotherham Council’s cabinet member for cultural services, said: “I am delighted the scheme can go ahead - albeit a scaled down version of the original.

“I am sure the work put in by officers of Rotherham Council would have been in vain without the enthusiasm and efforts put in by The Friends of Boston Castle.

“The castle is of historic importance to Rotherham. It is an absolute gem - a major landmark.”

The battlements will reinstated in original salvaged stone, and the windows repaired with 18th century designs.

There will be an education and meeting space and toilets, and the surrounding area will be landscaped, with paths, and on-site parking created.

CCTV, floodlighting and metal shutters will be put in place to deter vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

A focal point of the project will be the transformation of the castle courtyard into an event space.

Janet Worrall from The Friends of Boston Castle and Parklands said: “The Friends group is delighted that after eight years of campaigning and some disappointments along the way, the restoration of Boston Castle can now go ahead.”

Work will start in August and it hoped the building will be open by next spring.