Further work at Worth Park

Matthew Campbell, Plamen Damyanov, Councillor Duncan Crow and Graeme Sargood
Matthew Campbell, Plamen Damyanov, Councillor Duncan Crow and Graeme Sargood

The next stage of restoration work at Worth Park has started.

Crawley Borough Council is a year into a five-year restoration project at the park, funded by a £2.42million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Following work in the Victorian gardens, the project has moved on to nearby Ridley’s Court.

Built in 1882 for Sir Francis Abraham Montefiore, Ridley’s Court is the only surviving building from the Victorian mansion which once stood in the park.

It was originally a stable block, housing 18 carriages on the ground floor with an ornamental three-storey tower (formerly a clock tower) and a carriage arch.

Before being converted into homes, it was used as classrooms and dormitories for Milton Mount College, the girls’ school that occupied the main house and its gardens from 1920 to the early 1960s.

Council contractors, Bolt and Heeks, will be on site until early May creating community rooms and exhibition areas as well as new toilets, storage and an office.

They will also be supervising the restoration of the stonework and woodwork.

A council spokesman said: “The team has already uncovered some interesting original features including a brick floor, evidence of wood panelling and some original fireplaces.”

Once the work is complete, the council will base a participation officer at Ridley’s Court to liaise with schools and community groups, encouraging them to use the facilities in the park as well as volunteering for various projects and to take part in seasonal events.