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Heritage at the Heart of Graylingwell update

By Sonia Rasbery, Project Manager


We’ve had a busy summer! Work on the development phase of the Heritage at the Heart of Graylingwell project been progressing swiftly. The funding we received from the Heritage Lottery Fund has enabled us to commission the professional expertise we need to help us fully develop and refine our plans.

We’ve been working with lots of different specialists to provide the information and supporting documents we need for the submission of the application for the next phase of funding. Here’s a quick introduction to the people we’ve appointed:

·         Adam Richards and Giles Hampton, our architect’s from the pre-application stage from Adam Richards Architects continuing to develop architectural plans.

·         A planning consultant, Richard Dollamore from Whaleback, supporting the planning application process.

·         Padmini Broomfield and I are developing a programme of activities for the project

·         Catering consultants from Ramsay Todd Ltd focussing on the design and functionality of the café.

·         A stained glass window conservation expert conducted a survey of the condition of all the Chapel’s windows.

·         Ann Earnshaw, KSP Consultancy, is our Quantity Surveyor as well as the project manager for the building specialists including Gurjinder Puar, Structural Engineer from Price & Myers and Tim Barlett Mechanical and Engineering Design Consultants (MTA).

Giles and Adam have worked up the architectural drawings and we have recently submitted our planning application to Chichester District Council. The architects have also been working with the other building consultants on developing the interior spaces to make sure the Chapel is a warm welcoming usable space for our community and our visitors. A key area of the Chapel for us to get right is the café. We have been working collaboratively with the catering consultants and the architects on the layout and feel of the café, as well as making sure the equipment specification is what we need.

We want to make sure the Heritage at the Heart of Graylingwell project has a programme of events and activities for everyone. Our activities consultants Sonia and Padmini have been working with organisations as well as individuals across Chichester and us to make sure there is a fun and varied programme. We are planning a wide range of walks, talks, workshops and events as well as opportunities for the community to co-produce artwork. With a focus on health and wellbeing the activities draw inspiration from the history of the Hospital.

On a more practical note we will need to look after the building and the displays once we have completed the project! We have been developing a plan that sets out how we will manage and maintain the Chapel and its contents. This ranges from how often we will clean the gutters to looking after the trees in our care to maintaining the stained glass windows.

We’ve also been working with our heritage partners The Novium and West Sussex Record Office to explore in more depth what archival material and artefacts we have for the displays. The Record Office has a number of duplicate archival items that will be available for display in the Chapel including a number of issues of the Wishing Well a magazine produced for and by patients of Graylingwell Hospital, copies of the West Sussex County Asylum, Chichester, General Rules, from 1898 and 1915 and a selection of the plastic tokens used as money in the asylum. These will be exhibited alongside replicas of other archival documents as well as objects on loan from The Novium.

This is a flavour of what we have been working on over the last few months, much more work has been undertaken including work on budgeting for the new build and the restoration and conservation work, preparation of plans for the management of the delivery phase and a survey of the stained glass windows by a conservator.