Clissold Park mansion house reopens, completing £8.9million revamp of Stoke Newington's park
PUBLISHED: 14:16 06 January 2012 | UPDATED: 15:00 06 January 2012
Clissold Park's beautiful mansion house opened back up to the public on Tuesday, almost two years to the day since the £8.9million revamp of the park began.
After 18 months of intense renovation work the house boasts a café run by Company of Cooks, and a terrace overlooking the newly landscaped grounds.
People began blogging about their first trip to the café, and initial impressions of the overhaul of the Grade II* listed mansion, which was originally built as a private residence in 18th Century, were positive.
“The new sloping grass at the front looks great, the cafe seems excellent, and the interior of the house is fairly amazing if you remember what it was like before,” said Chris Kimber in his N16 blog.
“The spiral staircase in particular is spectacular,” he added.
“Overall this seems like an excellent start to 2012 for Clissold Park.”
Original period features such as cornicing, fireplaces and the skylight have been brought back to their original condition, and its five renovated function rooms are available for hire by the community.
The restoration project was jointly funded by the Heritage and Big Lottery Funds and Hackney Council, which worked closely with groups such as the Clissold Park User Group (CPUG.)
Its chairwoman, Caroline Millar, said: “Local people have campaigned for decades to save the house and to help secure the funding for its restoration and we are really proud of what has been achieved.
“The user group’s vision has always been for the house to become the heart of the park, providing a hub for everything that happens here and we are looking forward to continuing to play a key role in its future.”
Free tours of the house will be running throughout January and February, offering a fascinating insight into the history of Clissold House, which involves a curate’s illicit love for an heiress and a bankrupt landowner who was forced to sell his farm milk on Stoke Newington’s streets.
The re-opening the house heralds the end of the park’s refurbishment, apart from planting of more trees and plants in the coming months, adding side panels to the bridges and removing the works’ fencing.