News across the Commonwealth
If you are interested in our news items and wish to be kept informed about heritage issues and projects across the Commonwealth, then please join us and receive our regular newsletters.
Alipore and Presidency Jails, Kolkata
Conservation Architect Nilina Deb Lal talks about the Grade I listed Alipore and Presidency Jails in Kolkata in India, the risks and opportunities associated with their impending change of use, and the delicate balance between heritage significance and land value...Read more
Old buildings do not belong to us… We are only trustees for those who come after us.
Francis Maude, Director at Donald Insall Associates in London, describes the late 19th century City Hall in Georgetown, Guyana, and its connections with civic architecture in Britain. This conservation project also provides a good example of the benefits of collaborative partnerships, training workshops and formal sponsorship.Read more
We welcome supporters and membership from the UK Overseas territories, which share a common heritage with Commonwealth countries. Following the completion of the Grytviken Conservation Management Plan by Purcell Architects in 2018, the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands has been implementing several of the recommendations.Read more
Heritage at Risk
James Bramble, Executive Director of the British Napoleonic Bicentenary Trust, reveals some of the threats to the built heritage of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, one of the remotest places on earth, with several examples – including Banks Battery and Jacob’s Ladder, both of which date to the early 18th century and are remarkable as feats of structural engineering, as well as historically significant sites...Read more
Caribbean Heritage Network
The recently established Caribbean Heritage Network, which the Commonwealth Heritage Forum has joined as an organisational member, hopes to develop a framework to promote the management of historic sites in the region, and promote cultural heritage, CHF Trustee, Peregrine Bryant, writes…Read more
Encouraging news from Kolkata. Three landmark historic buildings have been restored for public exhibitions. Metcalfe Hall, opened in 1844, has been repaired in traditional lime plaster by the Archaeological Survey of India. Belvedere House has emerged from a five-year restoration programme with an exhibition celebrating Icons of Indian Nationalism. In the heart of the city, the old Currency Building has been refurbished for a jute and silk exhibition and fashion show.
Having secured statutory protection for over I200 historic buildings in the city, the Heritage Foundation of Pakistan (HFP) has organised a major initiative in Karachi. Under expert supervision, local community volunteers have been mobilised to clean the facades of the city’s fine historic buildings. Starting with the Victorian Gothic Denso Hall (above), built in 1886, it is the first step in creating a pedestrian precinct and the wider environmental improvement of the city’s Old Town. Together with Think City, Malaysia and INTBAU, in November 2019 HFP held an inspirational exhibition and conference which highlighted opportunities for conservation-led urban regeneration in both countries.
The writer, historian and filmmaker, Bobby Singh Bansal describes some of the work he has carried out on Sikh heritage in the remote regions of Pakistan, and the restoration of several sites, such as the dilapidated Anglo-Sikh war memorial at Ramnagar, not far from the battlefield at Gujranwala...Read more
In Port of Spain, Stollmeyer’s Castle has been restored by the Office of the Prime Minister for official functions. The elaborate Scottish baronial landmark is the embodiment of shared heritage with timber from Guyana and Canada, cast iron, stock bricks and ceramic floor tiles from England, slates from Wales and decorative stained glass. At the nearby Red House, a major restoration project is underway for the Senate and Parliament Chambers.Read more
Historic ruins can be adapted for new uses. Spanish Town High School sits on the Parade Ground of the Old Barracks built in 1791. Intact and roofed until the 1970s, now only the surrounding walls still stand. The School lacks sufficient space to accommodate all its pupils at the same time. The Board of Governors is determined to restore and reroof the Barracks for school use. A volunteer team from the UK and US visited in February to carry out a laser scan survey of the building and discuss ways of achieving this with Jamaican colleagues.
A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.