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80th Anniversary Fundraising Party

80th Anniversary Fundraising Party

The celebration of the Georgian Group's 80th Anniversary took place on the evening of 22nd June and was attended by members and their guests. Our Assembly en Fête echoed some of the eighteenth-century delights of an al fresco entertainment with canapés and champagne, but came with an important fundraising message, tied to the launch of our Oak Fund. 

In the words of our President, the Duke of The Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry KBE DL FSA FRSE:

For 80 years the Georgian Group has fought battles for bricks and mortar, for the
survival of extraordinary craftsmanship, for rare gifts of creativity and imagination. To
all of that done by brave predecessors and achieved in the face of dreadful apathy and
outright philistinism we raise our glasses many times over. Tonight we seek to couple
that celebration to a rekindling of the essential spirit that animated times past. Without
living, breathing and emotional souls we do little more than conserve monuments to
the past rather than opening the opportunities, as we believe with all our hearts they
offer for the future. In that great era of eighteenth century enlightenment and discovery
society advanced in leaps and bounds, at once open to the new but at the same time
knowledgeably respectful of what the past could teach us. In that there is surely a lesson
for our own curiously unsettled times.

I must make special mention of our Patron, His Royal Highness The Prince of
Wales, whose deeply knowledgeable support for the Georgian Group is a constant
source of encouragement and who has made this manifest in his generous donation of a
Garden Tour and Champagne tea at Highgrove.

Finally no words are adequate to thank the Chairman of the Anniversary
Committee, Bettina Harden, whose verve and passion has inspired everyone to
fresh heights of energy. The Georgian Group needs resources to grow, to broaden its
educational mission, to enlarge its support base amongst friends here and in America,
and especially with the next generation of architects, art historians and the allimportant
planners. Specifically, tonight, Bettina has established The Oak Fund to help
spread the amount of casework we can undertake, researching planning applications
and advising on them around the country. Thanks to you, it will be growing and
flourishing long after we stumble, happy and exhausted, into the night.
We wish you all a most memorable evening and we offer you our warmest thanks.

The event raised funds for the Group's casework, a key element of our statutory obligations, and the coal-face of our conservation work. Anyone interested in donating to the Oak Fund may do so by requesting a form or downloading one here: 

Oak Fund

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AGM and Launch of Oak Fund

AGM and Launch of Oak Fund

The 2017 AGM took place on 22nd June, followed by the first Crathorne Lecture, given by Adrian Tinniswood, author of The Long Weekend. The subject was the Georgian era as seen in the interwar years and was warmly received.

The AGM approved the increase in membership fees from 1st September 2017 as follows:

Life Members £850 to £1000

Joint Life Members £1200 to £1500

Ordinary Members £40 to £50

Joint Members £55 to £75

Young Georgians £25 to £30

Corporate £150 to £200

The increase in fees is to cover the escalating costs of postage and running costs, and to allow the Group to make enough profit from membership income to continue with our minimum casework capability of three caseworkers for England and one for Wales. 

In addition to this we have launched the Oak Fund for our 80th anniversary, which is also directly linked to enabling us to fund our casework and statutory duty. Information on the Oak Fund is available here:

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Chesterfield House railings at risk of leaving the UK

Chesterfield House railings at risk of leaving the UK

A set of ornate 18th century ironwork railings is at risk of being exported from the UK unless a buyer can be found to match the asking price of £305,000.
Culture Minister Matt Hancock has placed a temporary export bar on the railings that once surrounded the residence of the 4th Earl of Chesterfield to provide an opportunity to keep them in the country.

Made of wrought and cast iron with gilt iron and gilt bronze embellishments, they are among the most highly decorated examples in Britain, and illustrate how ornate ironwork was used to show social status in the 18th century.

Built in the 1740s, Chesterfield House was one of the grandest and most famous addresses in London and the railings were intended to impress guests and be viewed from the ground floor reception rooms.

The demolition of this great London mansion in 1937 was the catalyst for the foundation of The Georgian Group, which celebrates its 80th anniversary in 2017.

Minister of State for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock said:

“More than 80 years after Chesterfield House was sadly torn down, these lavishly decorated railings are a reminder of the opulence of the 18th century London elite and the wonderful craftsmanship of the time.
“I hope that a buyer comes forward to help keep them in the UK so that we may enjoy their beauty and learn more about the fascinating ironwork techniques used at the time.”

The set of railings is believed to have been supplied by Jean Montigny, a French Catholic immigrant who specialised in wrought iron, for the 1st Duke of Chandos’s remarkable house, Cannons, in Edgware, in the 1720s. They were then acquired for Chesterfield House, London, for which they were modified in the late 1740s.
The decision to defer the export licence follows a recommendation by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA), administered by The Arts Council.

RCEWA member Philippa Glanville said:

“Admired for more than 250 years for their design and craftsmanship, this set of railings vividly demonstrates how noblemen adorned the exteriors of their London palaces as richly as their interiors. These are rare survivors and exemplify the peak of wrought ironwork, one of the glories of eighteenth century patronage in Britain.”

The RCEWA made its recommendation on the grounds of the railings’ outstanding aesthetic importance and their significance for the study of British patronage of the highest quality ironwork, as well as of metalwork design, decorative techniques and subsequent structural and decorative modifications.

The decision on the export licence application for the railings will be deferred until 3 July 2017. This may be extended until 3 October 2017 if a serious intention to raise funds to purchase them is made at the recommended price of £305,000 (plus VAT of £61,000).
Organisations or individuals interested in purchasing the railings should contact the RCEWA on 0845 300 6200.

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Our Aims and Purpose

The Georgian Group is the national charity dedicated to preserving Georgian buildings and gardens. We were founded in 1937.  

We aim to protect historic buildings through providing advice to owners and architects, campaigning, and through our role as statutory consultees in the planning system. Our annual awards promote excellence in design and conservation. In its casework, the Georgian Group advises councils, church bodies, and others on threats to the historic fabric and setting of structures built between 1700 and 1840.

The Group organises lectures and other events aimed at improving the understanding of aspects of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century built heritage.  We also produce technical advice leaflets, and promote the publication of academic research through our journal.