The Friends of Priory House and Gardens, Dunstable received £43,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the conservation and preservation of significant Tudor wall paintings.

Six  panels were discovered in 1954 in the first-floor storeroom of a shop in High Street North, Dunstable and depict various woodland hunting scenes in colour, featuring a rabbit, stag and hunting dog, but the most remarkable panel includes a portrait of a man in Tudor costume smoking a clay pipe. Another seven panels showing fruit and foliage, were then uncovered in the 1980’s when the shop underwent extensive alterations.

Commenting on the award, Sue Turner, Secretary of the Friends, said: “We are very grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for supporting the project as it means everyone will now have the opportunity to see these beautiful paintings for many years to come.”

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, said: “HLF are delighted to fund this project which will mean that more people are aware of the paintings and what they mean to to the town. The project will also ensure that they are in an environment that will keep them safe for the future, meaning that future generations will also be able to enjoy them.”

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in , learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported over 30,000 projects, allocating £4.7billion across the UK, including over £334million to more than 3,120 projects in the East of England. Website: www.hlf.org.uk