Restoration work finally started at one of Rotherham’s most important heritage sites yesterday – after years of wrangling over the future of the landmark.
The Mayor of Rotherham, Councillor Shaun Wright, yesterday took up a sledgehammer to start work on a £1.2m scheme that will bring Boston Castle back into public use.
Contractors moved on to the site on Monday to begin work on the listed building which dates from 1775. The first phase will see the removal of a Victorian extension to the former hunting lodge.
Speaking before the event, he said: “As someone who has spent my career developing and promoting public open spaces I am really looking forward to being present at the start of this very special project.
“I know how important Boston Castle is to the people of Rotherham and so I am honoured to be asked to take part in its restoration.”
The cost of the renovations has been supported by £590,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund with Rotherham Council providing cash to finance the rest of the scheme.
The Friends of Boston Castle and Parklands which fought for the restoration to take place, have also secured a £50,000 grant for work to the courtyard, which will be transformed into an amphitheatre, providing an events space for a range of local groups and schools.
The surrounding area of the building will be landscaped with accessible paths and on-site parking.
Security measures such as CCTV, flood lighting and metal shutters will be installed to deter vandals.