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Viscount Coke of Holkham Hall to help save historic buildings in Great Yarmouth

PUBLISHED: 11:24 30 January 2014 | UPDATED: 11:24 30 January 2014

Holkham Hall. Picture: Ian Burt

Holkham Hall. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2013

The owner of Holkham Hall is helping a Great Yarmouth charity preserve the port town’s historic buildings.

Viscount Tom Coke, who lives at and runs the grade I-listed 18th century Palladian-style mansion in north Norfolk, has agreed to become the first ever patron of the Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust.

The charity has been involved in a range of high-profile heritage projects since it was founded in 1979, including work at the Time and Tide Museum, the Nelson Museum, and Yarmouth’s nationally-acclaimed Cemeteries Project.

It is hoped that having Lord Coke as a patron, an honorary position held for life, he can represent and further promote the trust and its work.

“All my life I have been fascinated with architecture, it is one of man’s few enduring legacies he leaves,” said Lord Coke.

“Great Yarmouth with its rich trading history from medieval and Hanseatic times has a surprisingly rich array of wonderful and important buildings.

“In the Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust, it has a wonderful and very well run champion and I am proud to now be a small part of it.”

Lord Coke’s home has been described as one of the finest stately homes in England, while the wider Holkham Estate is home to scores of other listed buildings.

He has been involved in many heritage projects on the Holkham Estate and elsewhere – and was for many years a researcher and supplier of linseed oil paints, which are used in building conservation and which continues to be used on the estate.

It was following an invitation from the preservation trust and a tour around trust projects with its chairman Councillor Bernard Williamson and project organiser Darren Barker, that Lord Coke agreed to become patron.

Mr Williamson, who is also Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s cabinet member for transformation and regeneration, said: “The trust, as it has developed with each successful project, has sought an appropriate patron – and we are honoured to have secured someone as well suited as Viscount Coke.

“He will bring prestige to the trust and help to raise awareness, locally and nationally, of the historical gems in the Great Yarmouth borough and of the fabulous conservation work which goes on here.

“But he is also someone who is passionate about heritage and building conservation, acutely aware of related issues within Norfolk, and is very familiar with traditional building materials and techniques.

“I, and everyone else at the trust, sincerely welcome him aboard.”

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