A HISTORIC South Yorkshire landmark dating back to the 18th century is undergoing an £860,000 restoration programme to provide better access for visitors.
Grade II-listed Boston Castle in Rotherham has stood since 1776 when it was built as a shooting lodge for the Earl of Effingham, a keen supporter of the American Independence movement.
It is now halfway through a programme funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Rotherham Council and Biffaward, which is due to be completed in March.
The Earl named the former shooting lodge in honour of the Boston Tea Party, the catalyst revolt against a tax on tea imposed by the British that led eventually to the formation of an independent United States of America. The Earl banned the drinking of tea in protest.
The project is being carried out by building restoration firm William Anelay, Paul Hewitt Architects and other conservation consultants on behalf of Rotherham Council and the Friends of Boston Castle.
Semi-derelict and unused for the past decade, the castle is in Boston Park with views over the Rother and Don valleys.
A two-storey extension will be built to give access to the castle’s various levels and the 18th century battlements and windows will receive extensive attention.
The restoration will also transform the castle into an event space, illuminated at night-time, that will be commercially available for hire for local groups and businesses.
Coun Amy Rushworth, Rotherham Council cabinet member for lifelong learning and culture, and chairman of the Boston Castle project board, said: “The castle is of historic importance to Rotherham.
“It is a major landmark which deserves to be restored to its former glory. It will be splendid to see its regeneration as it will be hugely valuable in terms of educational activities.”