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Thursday, December 8, 2016
Kent: Aylesford Friary celebrates restored Gatehouse
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¬†Aylesford Friary in Kent has just announced the successful completion of restoration work on their 15th century Gatehouse. Two years ago the building, together with a rare 17th century wooden barn, was in danger of collapse. The Restoration Appeal was launched in February 2001 to raise over one million pounds in order to carry out repairs and restoration to two listed buildings. Fr Wilfred McGreal, Prior at the Friars, said: "Work on the Gatehouse was completed on 15th December 2003 and the members of the Donum Dei community are able to move back into their home, which is now safe and sound. "This has all been made possible by the generosity of grant making bodies such as the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage, WREN, Aylesford Newsprint, Groundworks (Swale/Medway), The Wolfson Foundation, and also many, many kind donations by members of the general public. "Fund raising events have been organised at regular intervals and the support for these events has been incredible. "Now that the Gatehouse is finished we can move on to Stage II which is the North Barn" said Fr Wilfrid. "It is hoped that work will commence early in the New Year on restoring this 17th century building. When completed, the barn will provide a much needed sheltered area for use by pilgrims and other deserving groups, charities, etc and will become an important facility for the local community." "An Open Day is planned for Sunday 15 February, from 11.30am to 3.00pm, to give the general public an opportunity to come along and view the Gatehouse, internally and externally, when they will be shown around and can see where the Restoration Appeal funds have been spent. However, we need a further £200,000 to complete the whole project and fundraising is still going on in earnest." For more information visit: http://www.carmelite.org/aylesford
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