The public is being asked to donate any materials or papers relating to Highcliffe Castle, which has been owned by the council for 36 years, to help complete a comprehensive archive of historic and modern documents.
The council paperwork dates back to long before the compulsory purchase order was placed on the Castle. There are also documents amassed by the Highcliffe Castle Charitable Trust which was instrumental in lobbying for the Castle’s restoration. These include papers of the late Eileen Hight who lived in Rothesay Drive and for many years lobbied for complete restoration.
Said David Hopkins, Highcliffe Castle Manager: “One of our volunteers is a retired archivist and we are fortunate that she is overseeing the creation of the archive. Over the years the council has amassed a huge amount of paperwork and has also collected books and articles about the Castle and its history. In addition the public have donated items. There is also a large collection of photographs taken by another volunteer from the early 1990s when repairs first began.”
The plan is that once a comprehensive archive has been created the collection can be made available to bona fide researchers, schools and universities.
David added: “Modern records can be and will be as important in years to come as the Victorian ephemera that we cherish now. The public may very quickly forget the Highcliffe Castle story unless we look after these documents so anything adding to the story will be greatly appreciated, especially photographs where the Castle features.”
Anybody wishing to contribute to this project should contact David Hopkins on 01425 273110.