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Lost library is coming home to Peckover House in Wisbech thanks to Lottery cash

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The lost library at Peckover House in Wisbech is set to be restored and items from its historical collection will return to the town for the first time in over half a century.

Peckover House, Wisbech (3925712)
Peckover House, Wisbech (3925712)

A £10,000 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund has been awarded to Peckover House to restore its library and will also see a new exhibition to celebrate Lord Alexander Peckover, who was an avid collector.

The “valuable and significant” collection includes rare and early Bibles, medieval manuscripts, atlases and literature which reflect his Quaker faith and philanthropic interests.

A portrait of Lord Alexander Peckover, which belongs to Wisbech and Fenland Museum. (5045958)
A portrait of Lord Alexander Peckover, which belongs to Wisbech and Fenland Museum. (5045958)

Ben Rickett, operations manager at Peckover House, said: “2019 marks 100 years since the death of Lord Peckover and this is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate his life and tell the story of his lost library.

“Peckover came into the care of the National Trust in 1948, without its contents, and among the most precious items to have been dispersed and sold at auction was Lord Peckover’s book collection.

“We’re excited about this new exhibition, which will see the library redisplayed and some of those lost treasures return for the first time.”

Many of Lord Peckover’s books were bought by private collectors and museums.

Working with Wisbech Museum, University College London, Colchester and Ipswich Museum and the Blackburn Museum, a number of books will be on loan to the National Trust for the new exhibition.

The books will go on display in the library, which was added to the house by Lord Peckover himself.

Robyn Llewellyn, head of Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, said: “We’re delighted to support this project which will tell the story of Lord Peckover’s library.

“Thanks to National Lottery players, local people can get involved in activities to explore, share and celebrate this fascinating heritage.”

The lost library exhibition will open in March 2019. The project will also see a programme of themed book events and community projects throughout the year.

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