The last castle to be built in England has been saved after a mammoth nine year conservation job costing £15.5million.
Castle Drogo was built in Dartmoor, Devon between 1911 and 1932 – and had suffered major structural problems resulting in serious leaks and water damage.
Its huge restoration began in 2013 after a fundraising appeal was launched by owners to the National Trust to help bring England’s youngest castle back to its former glory.
The project cost £15.5million and was ‘conservation work on a monumental scale’, the trust’s Tim Cambourne said.
‘We have now installed a high-tech roof system over an area roughly equivalent to two football pitches,’ he said.
The stunning Castle Drogo, pictured after the restoration, was brought back to its former glory during the mammoth £15.5million project. There had previously been water damage and internal leaks before the conservation began in 2013
Castle Drogo’s interiors, pictured before the conservation job in the 1960s, have now been restored and an internal deep clean took place to restore all of its carpets and blinds
The castle’s General manager Heather Kay said that Drogo ‘is regarded as a masterpiece of 20th century architecture’
Pictured in its early years of initial construction, the castle was built on Dartmoor, Devon between 1911 and 1932
‘A new two-layer membrane designed to cope with the extremes of weather experienced on Dartmoor now works alongside newly designed roof gullies to accommodate the heavy Dartmoor rainfall protecting the castle from water damage.’
The castle underwent an internal deep clean and restoration of its carpets and blinds.
The trust said it uncovered the original collection to return the castle ‘to a family home and bring to life the Lutyens-designed masterpiece’.
General manager Heather Kay said the castle’s future had now been secured.
‘It is regarded as a masterpiece of 20th-century architecture,’ she said.
‘It is a place where people not only explore the castle and formal garden but also enjoy walking on the wider estate and spending time with their families.’
The castle will be open daily until 30 October.
Its huge restoration began in 2013 after a fundraising appeal was launched by owners to the National Trust. Pictured now in all its glory, the breathtaking castle sweeps through the Devon countryside
The Grade I listed castle, which is now open to members of the public, also had gorgeous grounds and gardens attached
The magnificent castle, pictured before the restoration, has now been completely repointed as part of the multi-million pound job
The castle was designed by Edwin Lutyens – one of the most sought after British architects in the first half of the 20th Century.
It was built as an ancestral family home for retail tycoon Julius Drewe who wanted it to overlook Dartmoor.
Julius and Frances Drewe were its first owners, and their portraits hang on opposite walls of the dining room stairwell.
The gorgeous castle – nestled in the Devon countryside – will be open daily until 30 October so that keen Britons can see the magnificent building in the flesh
The initial building work at Castle Drogo in the early 1900s. It was built as an ancestral family home for retail tycoon Julius Drewe who wanted it to overlook Dartmoor
The castle was designed by Edwin Lutyens – one of the most sought after British architects in the first half of the 20th century
Every one of the 913 windows has now been removed, refurbished and resealed in the mammoth refurbishment
Indoors the castle hosts many treasures including a tapestry made for Louis XIV.
In order to lay the new waterproof system, 2,355 granite blocks weighing 680 tonnes had to be removed and then reinstated.
This involved moving and reassembling entire battlements and large sections of the castle walls.
The building has been completely repointed.
The cracked cement pointing was removed and replaced with an improved lime based mortar.
The sheer amount of new pointing required stretches to an impressive 60,000 metres, or 42 miles.
Every one of the 913 windows has now been removed, refurbished and resealed.
Julius and Frances Drewe were the castle’s first owners, and their portraits hang on opposite walls of the dining room stairwell
The gorgeous views over South Devon and the local landscape, with Castle Drogo in the mid-ground
Interiors of the Grade I listed building, captured in February 2013
Its huge restoration began in 2013 after a fundraising appeal was launched by owners to the National Trust to help bring England’s youngest castle back to its former glory. Pictured here before the restoration