Although it appeared semi-demolished, by 1980 Conishead Priory was structurally secured and saved for future generations.
In 1991 an appeal was launched to raise £500,000 to complete the building of accommodation rooms and the restoration of the majority of the interior of the building. By the end of 1994, over half of this total had been raised by generous donations and other fund raising activities. The Priory has been completely transformed - the top floor, which was almost derelict, now provides new accommodation for the growing community.
To prevent Conishead Priory from becoming at risk again we need currently to carry out urgent restoration work to the outside of the building. This includes replacing the main roof and gutters and rebuilding the turrets of the landmark 100 ft towers.
Conishead Priory receives £899,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund!
In October 2004 Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre received confirmation from the Heritage Lottery Fund that they will receive £899,000 towards a £1.2 million first phase of restoration work to the Priory.
The work involves replacing slate roofs and fiberglass gutters as well as repairing stone features. The landmark sandstone towers will be temporarily braced and then rebuilt in the second phase of work, which is due to follow on in late 2005.
In early September 15 residents and friends of the Centre completed a major sponsored trek, called the ‘Mountain Mandala Trek,' in the Lakeland fells which took 6 days and covered 76.5 miles distance and 29,300 feet ascent (approximately the height of Mount Everest.) The trek raised around £15,000 towards the repair costs.
The building project started on November 8 th and Leck Construction of Barrow are carrying out the work. The main building will remain open to the public throughout the project.
Project Manager Kelsang Tsering & Project Administrator Kelsang Pagpa said ‘We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund have awarded this essential grant which will enable us to carry out urgent roof repairs and thus secure the future of this much loved building for many future generations of residents and visitors.'
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) enables communities to celebrate, look after and learn more about our diverse heritage. From our great museums and historic buildings to local parks and beauty spots or recording and celebrating traditions, customs and history, HLF grants open up our nation's heritage for everyone to enjoy. We have supported more than 15,000 projects, allocating over £3 billion across the UK. In the North West we have awarded £324.8 million to over 1,400 projects since 1994.