Mrs Smith’s Cottage in the village of Navenby, in Lincolnshire, is a rare example of a typical home built in the mid 1800s. North Kesteven District Council hopes to receive Heritage Lottery Funding toward the project ‘Rescuing Mrs Smith’s Cottage: a unique slice of bygone Lincolnshire life’ which will bring it back into operation as a visitor attraction.
Focus Consultants has been appointed to undertake a governance options review for the future management of the site, including recommendations as to the most viable model moving forward.
The Cottage was home to Mrs Hilda Smith who was born is Navenby in 1892. The Cottage was her home for over seven decades. She documented her life in daily diaries which form part of the unique collection, which also include items that were in the Cottage when Mrs Smith occupied it. The only modern modifications are the installation of a cold-water tap, electricity and an inside toilet.
The Cottage was closed to visitors in 2012 when it became clear that serious structural issues meant the building was no longer safe. The HLF project will enable these repairs to be made and will facilitate a programme of new interpretation, events and activities, bringing the Cottage back to life as a building very much at the heart of the local community.
Heather Frecklington, Focus Partner, said: “This is a fascinating project for us to be involved in. We have an office in Lincolnshire and so it is exciting for us to be part of the team helping to rescue this important local heritage asset.”
Malcom Smith, Chairman of the Friends of Mrs Smith’s Cottage Group, a local organisation dedicated to the restoration of the cottage, commented: “I hope the renovation will mean the Cottage will be a stable tourist attraction and resource for schools for many years to come and a much-appreciated benefit for the village of Navenby.
“Lincolnshire has a wealth of heritage in aviation, science and industry which, in my opinion, has sometimes been forgotten or not promoted widely enough. I hope that the Cottage will become an integral part of this wider appreciation for heritage attractions which provide a much-needed boost to the local economy.”
The Cottage is expected to re-open in 2019.