In collaboration with English Heritage, we have recently appointed Built Heritage Consultancy to draw up a comprehensive Conservation Management Plan (CMP) for Berkhamsted Castle.
The central purpose of the CMP project will be to produce a scholarly, succinct and accessible digest of all the available information on the history, condition, management and use of the Castle, including consultations with specialists and stakeholders. This will enable an up-to-date assessment of the Castle’s heritage significance, and the issues it faces, providing a sound intellectual foundation for the development of proposals for its future conservation and management.
The multi-disciplinary team is led by James Weeks, an architectural historian and heritage consultant who has carried out various CMPs for English Heritage at other sites. He will work with Anthony Hoyte to take care of the overall management of the project, attend meetings, input into the consultation process, and provide strategic advice where necessary. They will also carry out much of the report-writing, particularly relating to the architectural history of the site, the assessment of significance, and the majority of issues and policies.
Aspects relating to condition, maintenance, access, security, etc. will be dealt with by Richard Davies of MRDA architects. Richard was for many years responsible for various English Heritage sites, including Chiswick House and Walmer Castle as well as Berkhamsted Castle itself, and has extensive knowledge and experience of the issues affecting this site and others like it.
Archaeological aspects of the project will be covered by Tom Wilson, a building archaeologist with particular experience of fortifications in southern England. He has worked on a number of English Heritage sites previously (including some in his role as a caseworker for Historic England) including Dover Castle, Fort Brockhurst and Tilbury Fort. Tom will carry out much of the research, site analysis, and compilation of the Gazetteer and Archive, as well as contributing to the Understanding, Significance, and Issues & Policies sections of the Plan.
The treatment of the ecological aspects of the CMP will be led by Henriette Westergaard, who has over 25 years’ experience in identifying the historic, amenity and nature conservation value of all types of landscape, including various historic sites such as Greenwich Park and Scotney Castle.
Work has already started on the CMP, with a first draft expected by the summer.