Hedingham Castle is today the home of Jason and Demetra Lindsay and their family. Little remains of the huge estates amassed by the early Earls, through conquest, war and strategic alliance, but the costs of maintaining a Grade 1 listed scheduled Ancient Monument and a Grade II* Georgian House with medieval attachments continue to mount.
Jason and Demetra are committed to the vision bequeathed to them by Jason’s parents, Thomas and Virginia, when they passed the running of the estate to them eleven years ago. That vision is to maintain, restore and improve the estate, to make it self-sufficient, and to make it accessible to all who want to come and experience for themselves the magical place that is Hedingham Castle.
In 2008 a twelve month restoration of the gardens started, to include the creation of a formal pond, the planting of the Rhododendron Walks, the replanting of the front terraces and the restoration of the Dovecot. By 2014 the restoration of the Mansion House had nearly been completed, the Gate Lodge and Garden Cottage had been reacquired and a programme of work was undertaken to restore some elements of the fabric of the Castle, including the interior flint walls and stone work, the windows and the exterior stone stairs. The process of installing heating in the Keep for the first time in over 200 years was completed and an C18th dividing wall in the basement was removed, creating a magical space and returning it to its original shape as one room. The electrics and other services were also brought up to date.
Energy and Environmental Policy
Every year the Castle and Mansion House use a huge amount of energy for heating, hot water and lighting. With the inevitable increases in energy prices many alternative solutions have been considered, and a number of schemes have been implemented.
Solar and Photovoltaic System. In December 2011 a 10 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system was installed on the roof of the Mansion House. This consists of 42 panels attached to the existing lead roof and generates 7,500 kilowatts of electricity every year.
Biomass Boiler. A 200 kilowatt biomass boiler was installed in April 2014 for the heating and hot water in the Castle and Mansion House. This uses wood chip as its energy source and replaced the previous natural gas boiler. It will burn over 100 tonnes of wood chip every year, some of which will be sourced from the Castle woodlands.
Woodland Management. A forestry management plan has been created and implemented, which will allow the 60 acres of woods on the estate to be properly managed, with a planned felling and planting programme. Many of the trees are nearing the end of their lives and the boiler has created a financial justification for the works.
Water. There are at least 3 wells on the Castle site and it is our intention to become self sufficient by using the huge 10 foot diameter well, located in the stable yard, which formally supplied the Mansion House. pumps will extract the water before it is exposed to UV light to make it safe for drinking.