Royal stables for sale to pay Palace repair bills - Home News - UK - The Independent

Royal stables for sale to pay Palace repair bills

Stables built for King Henry VIII 473 years ago may be up for sale, because Buckingham Palace is desperate for money for urgent repairs. The old stables in Royal Mews, in the grounds of Hampton Court, would be expected to fetch £2m.

The money would help pay for a huge backlog of repairs the Palace says are so urgent that all of them must be completed within 10 years. The combined cost is estimated at £44m. The dilapidated state of parts of the royal estate has forced the Queen to beg the Treasury for extra money as the Government sets about preparing drastic cuts in public spending.

The revelation about the old stables shocked the Horse Rangers Association, a registered equestrian charity which has its headquarters there. Its director, Jackie Bryans, said: "Buckingham Palace have been very good to us. We have been here almost 40 years. So I hope this is not going to happen, at least not for a very long time.

It would cost a great deal to convert 500-year-old stables, so the only person I can imagine who would be interested in buying is us, and we haven't got £2m."

The stables were built in 1536, soon after Henry VIII had expropriated Hampton Court from Cardinal Wolsey, who fell out of favour when he failed to persuade the Pope to allow the King to divorce Catherine of Aragon. They were designed by the master mason Charles Dickinson, one of the king's favourite architects. Two centuries later, King George II decided not to use Hampton Court as a royal residence any more and the stables fell into disuse. The east side was converted to an inn, called Chequers, but that closed in the 1840s.

A document released under the Freedom of Information Act shows that last August, a Palace official wrote to the Treasury pleading for the Queen's income for the Civil List, now £7.9m a year, to be raised by "at least £4m a year".

The Palace estimated that the extra income would give them £28m of the £44m they need for repairs, and undertook to find the rest themselves by various means including "the disposal of non core assets eg Hampton Court Mews (£2m)". This month, English Heritage released the text of an email it had received from the royal household warning that parts of the Queen's estate are being left "without prospect of repair", because they are so desperate for money to patch together the roof of Buckingham Palace and for other essential works.

Graham Sharpe, the royal household's head of property services, warned in the email of major problems at Windsor Castle, which was badly damaged by fire in 1992. "The lead roofs ... are at the end of their life and the only areas to be re-roofed by 1997 were in the fire restoration," he wrote. "There are 26 other identifiable roofs that need to be renewed. All were patched in 1997 and we were advised that the patches would extend the life by 12 to 15 years."

He added: "You may question why we cannot prioritise these roofs against other projects in the programme. The reality is that Buckingham Palace and the Royal Mews have the same issues with roof repairs. The truth is that there is insufficient funding to cover the needs and we are unable to carry out repairs as we should and would like to.

"You are well aware of the status of the Victoria and Albert Mausoleum as a 'Building at Risk', the repair of which cannot be undertaken due to its high cost, but there are other parts of our estate that are now being left with no prospect of repair."

Urgent repairs: Palace costs

£18.3m

Fix lead and slate roofs at Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace

£5.5m

Replace heating and electrics at Buckingham Palace and remove asbestos

£4.2m

Replace cast iron and lead Victorian water main at Windsor

£3m

Refurbish St James's Palace

£3m

Conservation work at the V&A Mausoleum

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Energy Markets Analyst

£400000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy Markets An...

Junior Web Analyst – West Sussex – Up to £35k DOE

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

Nursery Manager

£22000 - £23000 per annum: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recrui...

Web Analyst – Permanent – Up to £40k - London

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week