- Funding Needs
By 2004, after nearly 400 years of continued use, it became apparent that the Grade 1 listed building and many of the historic artefacts at the Hospital were in urgent need of conservation and restoration. In addition, 19 units of accommodation (including those built in the rear garden in 1984) required upgrading to ensure that they met the standards required for modern elderly living. Over the next 5 years more than £500,000 was raised from grant giving bodies and charitable trusts enabling the following work to be completed:
- Repairs to the Gatehouse and roof turrets
- Restoration of Main Gates
- Refurbishment and roof repairs to the 17th century Summer House
- Rebuilding original steps to kitchen garden
- Decoration and repairs to Common Hall, Chapel and Guesten Hall
- Conservation of several pieces of furniture and other artefacts detailed in original Hospital documents
- Refurbishment of all living accommodation to include new kitchens, walk in shower facilities, upgraded services and redecoration
Grants were received from the Henry Smith Charity, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Clothworkers' Foundation, the Grocers' Foundation, the John Coates Charitable Trust, etc
The 2004 Appeal is now closed but the need to protect this magnificent part of Guildford's heritage continues and caring for the building and for the residents is an on-going challenge.
While Abbot's Hospital is able to meet its annual running costs, most years see additional areas of expenditure related to the upkeep of the building or the provision of facilities for the residents. In practice, these projects cost an extra £100,000 pa - for which funding must be found. Recent examples include:
The Clock Tower and the Pity Bell
In 2009, just when we believed that building work was at an end, a routine inspection of the roof revealed that the wood and lead supports for the bell tower housing the Hospital Clock were in need of replacement. At the same time, the housing for the Pity Bell, installed to enable weary travellers to summon help from a Senior Brother, was declared unsafe and removed for repair. 2 grants have now been secured to repair the Pity Bell housing but no such help towards the £25,000 needed for the bell tower has yet been forthcoming.
These extremely rare and significant examples of 17th century painted enamelled glass are in urgent need of attention. Monitoring of the glass will finish in early 2012 and we are expecting to have to pay around £30,000 for emergency repairs to £80,000 or more for a comprehensive solution.
At the beginning of 2010 the lift which connects the rear building with communal areas in the original part of the Hospital ceased working after 25 years. A specially manufactured part has now been obtained and repairs costing £19,000 have been completed.
Replacement Heating System
The main boiler, used to heat the communal areas of Abbot's Hospital and 3 apartments in the Grade 1 listed building is in urgent need of replacement. 2 new combination boilers and upgraded control systems would greatly improve our energy efficiency by 20% and reduce the maintenance costs by 25% (£4,200 pa). This work will comprise Phase 1 of a planned Heating overhaul costing £100,000. In addition, all the boilers for the remaining apartments will need to be replaced over the next 3 years. The Clothworkers' Foundation generously pledged a grant of £20,000 towards Phase 1 and this work began in August 2010.
If you would like to support our work and enable Abbot's Hospital to continue please go to the Support Us link on your left or contact Michael McKechnie, The Master, on or on 01483 455591.