The lighthouse and the sea at Orford Ness

Support for National Trust’s listed 18th-century merchant’s house 


The National Trust has received initial support* from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the 'Rainham at the Centre of the World' project. 

The project aims to restore Rainham Hall, a Grade II-listed Georgian merchant’s house with links to global trade and travel, in the Thames Gateway area of Essex.

The project will bring the hall to life by developing a multi-sensory experience, and will provide valuable opportunities for learning, skills development and volunteering for all age groups among the local community. For example, the National Trust is currently recruiting for historic research volunteers to help with the vital task of uncovering unknown stories and facts which will feed into the project’s development. The project will also enable essential conservation work to be carried out on the 18th-century Coach House, which is on English Heritage’s 'Buildings At Risk' register and currently inaccessible.

Rainham Hall sits at the heart of Rainham Village in the London Borough of Havering and is one of the few remaining witnesses to how trade and industry came to this region of London. The site’s strong links to local and regional history are highly valued by the local community, and they are keen for it to be developed to tell the history of the area.

Zoë Colbeck, Property Manager said: ‘This is fantastic news, Rainham Hall has been in need of restoration for many years and this support from the HLF means there is light at the end of the tunnel. There is so much potential at the Hall to bring this impressive building back to life. We will be working hard with the local community to ensure we develop the building so they will treasure it."

Explaining the importance of the award, Sue Bowers, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund London, said:  “We are pleased to give our initial support to this project which aims to restore and interpret this rare surviving 18th-century merchant’s estate in Havering. While there is much work to be done, we look forward to receiving a full application from the National Trust for Rainham Hall in the future.”

Havering Councillor, Michael Armstrong, said:  "We hope that this exciting project can complete the restoration of this majestic Georgian Hall so that the community and visitors can share its history and its importance to the local area."  

Notes to editors

About the National Trust
The National Trust is Europe’s largest conservation organisation and looks after places of historic interest and natural beauty across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. 3.5million members, over 49,000 volunteers, 500,000 school children, and millions of visitors, donors and supporters help the Trust look after its 300 historic houses and gardens, 700 miles of coastline and 250,000 hectares of open countryside. The National Trust is a charity and receives no government funding.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic palaces to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported over 30,000 projects, allocating £4.7billion across the UK.

Further information
Please contact Zoë Colbeck at the National Trust by calling 0208 545 6850 or by emailing


Rainham Hall a Grade II listed Georgian merchants house 
Rainham Hall a Grade II-listed Georgian merchants house