Chatham Historic Dockyard awarded £2.3m by DCMS

Commissioners House Chatham Historic Dockyard
Commissioners House Chatham Historic Dockyard

Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust has announced that it has been awarded £2,318,400 for capital works to Commissioner’s House by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport through the Museum Estate and Development Fund (MEND), administered by Arts Council England.

The essential funding will enable the Trust to repair and preserve the historic fabric of the Grade I listed scheduled ancient monument, replace and update electrical and mechanical services and safeguard its collections. Once capital works are complete, Commissioner’s House will be energy efficient, better interpreted and provide greater public access, ensuring the future sustainability of the building as a heritage asset. The works will be carried out within the next 24 months.

Richard Morsley, Chief Executive, Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust said, “We are incredibly grateful to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Arts Council England for awarding Museums and Estates Development funding for Commissioner’s House. This scheduled ancient monument is Britain’s oldest intact naval building and one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture. The funding will allow us to undertake a programme of essential maintenance, including a full roof replacement, which will safeguard the building for future generations. In addition we are working to widen public access, rightfully restoring Commissioner’s House back to the heart of the Historic Dockyard.”

The Queen Anne style Commissioner’s House is Britain’s oldest intact naval building and is little changed since its original construction. Originally, this grand Georgian mansion served as the home and office to the Dockyard Commissioner. The house was built for Captain George St Lo in 1704, on the site of an earlier residence constructed in 1640.

Commissioner’s House is a heritage asset of the highest order. One of the most attractive internal decorations is a ceiling painting depicting an assembly of the gods, with Mars crowning Neptune. The painting is attributed to Highmore with figure work by Thornhill. The painting was originally fitted onboard HMS Royal Sovereign.

Click here to discover more about the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust.