Historic Houses, a group of independent historic properties across the UK, run a range of categories for awards including recognising gardens, restoration, education and sustainability.
This year Ushaw Historic House, Chapel & Gardens is the winner of the Dreweatts-sponsored Collections Award and Brockfield Hall, in York, is winner of Historic Houses Restoration Award, sponsored by Sotheby’s.
Ushaw, a former Catholic seminary in County Durham, has been operated by a charitable trust as a heritage attraction since 2014 and won the award due to its recently launched outdoor digital trail app.
Ben Cowell, director general at Historic Houses, said: “The judges all felt that the Ushaw outdoor digital app was a great way for visitors to engage with the property and its fascinating collections stretching back centuries. We hope it will encourage more people to seek out and discover this most special of sites.”
Jonathan Pratt, managing director of Dreweatts, said: “The judges were hugely impressed with the quality and innovation of their digital resources, interpretation and community outreach – as well as the sheer variety, inherent interest and beauty of the collection.”
Brockfield Hall near York is brick country house built in 1804 by Benjamin Agar to the design of Peter Atkinson, junior partner of John Carr.
It was bought in 1951 by Lord Martin Fitzalan Howard and it is now the family home of his grandson, Charlie Wood, and his wife, Hatta Byng, editor of House & Garden, who have undertook a programme of restoration over a period of 18 months.
They said: “Working with the brilliant Rupert Cunningham from Ben Pentreath, the goals for our restoration of Brockfield were always twofold: to restore the house back to Benjamin Agar’s and Peter Atkinson’s original vision and their design of the early Regency period, and to create a family home for the 21st century, securing both goals for future generations.”
Lord Dalmeny, UK chairman of Sotheby’s, said: “What a transformation – Brockfield reborn, history respected and the future secured. Sotheby’s is delighted to salute this fantastic family home and the sensitivity and ambition displayed by all involved in its restoration.”
Dreweatts became involved in sponsoring the ‘Collections Award: Recognising Responding, Reimagining’ in 2022 while the Restoration Award, sponsored by Sotheby’s, was created in 2008.