Mocked at the time, Sir John did, in fact, perform a great service and helped raise new-found awareness about their societal importance of landmark sites and their role in helping to better inform the wider public about the past.
Britain is certainly more enriched as a result of this foresight, hence the need for a similar national effort now to ensure that urgent work to preserve stately homes doesn’t become a forgotten casualty of the lockdown and lost visitor income.
Accepting that the Government has limited money, a national task force now needs to be launched to explore options, and how to generate money, to preserve our priceless past. Once it’s gone, it is lost forever.
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