Letter: Bargain treasures

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your article 'National treasures cost too much' (10 May) makes no mention of the good value offered by English Heritage across the country. The cost of visiting our London properties, which is particularly singled out in your article as 'spiralling out of control', makes no mention of free entry to Kenwood and Marble Hill House, or Chiswick House and Rangers House, where the adult entry charge is pounds 2.30 and pounds 2 respectively.

English Heritage is responsible for almost 400 sites which are open to the public, of which 258 are free. Admission charges for the remainder, which include many top attractions from Stonehenge to Dover Castle, draw around 5 million visitors a year and represent excellent value for money, with an average price of pounds 1.74, and we are constantly improving the visitor experience - last year we spent pounds 13.5m improving our educational and visitor facilities.

We have also introduced a number of initiatives to make the heritage in our care more accessible, such as a Free Family Open Day at all our properties on 2 April in celebration of our 10th anniversary. In terrible weather, this attracted 94,000 visitors, and we aim to make it an annual event.

Yours faithfully,

JOCELYN STEVENS

Chairman

English Heritage

London, EC1

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