Wentworth Woodhouse

Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation TrustWentworth Woodhouse is one of the largest houses in Europe, it is a Grade I listed country house in the village of Wentworth, South Yorkshire. It was built between 1725 and 1750 and is currently owned by Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, who aim to use the restoration as a catalyst for positive change in South Yorkshire.


Read more about The Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust.

The Bodleian Library - Portrait Conservation Project

The Bodleian Library has a remarkable portraits collection, representing unique visual stories of the history of the Libraries and the University of Oxford. “Portrait of an Unknown Lady” urgently required conservation in order to secure it for future generations.  The Radcliffe Trust awarded the library a grant for this wonderful project.

The grant was spent employing the services of specialist conservator Dr Harriet Standeven to conserve the portrait. The current portrait of an unknown woman was revealed in 1838, when an overpainted image of Mary Queen of Scots was removed. At that time a thick, natural resin varnish was applied, and it is likely that the fixed strainer on the reverse of the panel was also adhered. The panel exhibited both structural and aesthetic problems and the aim of the treatment was to stabilise it and improve its appearance, making it available for future study.

The cracked panel was re-glued, a non-yellowing synthetic resin varnish was applied, losses to the paint layer and small gaps in the panel were filled with pigmented wax/resin, and the extensive losses retouched; all these materials are non-yellowing and easily removed should it be required in the future.

The panel will now go to a specialist framer and will be fitted in a bespoke frame: this will support the panel whilst allowing it to respond to fluctuations in temperature and humidity. No additional supporting structure will be added to the reverse of the panel.

The Bodleian Library have been able to ensure the long-term future of this portrait and enable visitors and scholars to view it safely and without risk of further deterioration. Without the contribution from The Radcliffe Trust they would not have been able to achieve this.

Ulster Youth Orchestra

The Radcliffe Trust have awarded Ulster Youth Orchestra a number of grants since 2009, the grant in 2023 helped to support the Ulster Youth Orchestra’s 30th Anniversary Summer Residential Course and Concerts.  The project had a significant impact on both the beneficiaries and the organisation, this was shown clearly by the feedback from the young people:-

“Thanks so much for the phenomenal 10 days of UYO and giving me the opportunity to be a part of it, I learnt so much and got so many opportunities to speak to people and gain advice in pursuing music and I’ll forever be grateful for that.”

“UYO has given me some of the best memories of my life, I couldn’t recommend it enough. Like-minded young people from every corner of Ireland came together this year to make some unbelievable music, and we will never forget it.”

Finding funders in Northern Ireland has been difficult recently. The Ulster Youth Orchestra had reported that without this grant, they might have had to reduce the quality of the course in 2023.  They are very proud of their organisation and are reluctant to compromise on quality.

Music Makers of Dyfed

Young Music Makers of Dyfed aims to encourage young people to compose, and in doing so elevate their horizons as to the standards of this artistic discipline.  The Young Composer scheme is unique.

The Radcliffe Trust has been delighted to support this Young Music Makers of Dyfed initiative with two grants.  Last year they employed Lynne Plowman as the Resident Composer and a professional Ensemble was provided by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, as part of the BBC NOW education outreach programme so the ensemble fees and costs were covered by the BBC this significantly reduced the overall expenditure.

The musicians develop year on year and gain experience not found in the school classroom.  Some move on to study composition at university with one former student taking a place at The Purcell School this year, a wonderful accolade.  The six students in the photograph below were selected to take part in the concert for Young Musician.

Menai Strait's Heritage Sailing

Menai Strait’s Heritage Sailing grant from the Radcliffe Trust, was used to offer training opportunities via an apprenticeship in marine engineering, whilst also offering engagement with members of the community in general but specifically targeted at the most isolated through the GP Social Prescribing Scheme.

Polly (the apprentice) says ‘Thanks to The Radcliffe Trust for risking investment in this project.  I believe that some of the early significant funding from you, gave the Trustees the confidence to commit to the project and it is going well.  I am very proud to be part of the project’.

Polly has attended college one day per week and so far her apprenticeship has been very successful.

Roy, pictured below, was referred to Menai Strait’s Heritage Sailing through social prescribing. He is an 84 year old man diagnosed with dementia, he was keen to sail and despite being significantly cognitively compromised is physically fit. He insisted on sailing in a race saying ‘there is no point in just going for a sail’!   Whilst sailing, he spoke of his expertise in boat restoration, it became apparent that Roy had actually owned and worked on the boat he was sailing in during the 1960’s and 70’s.