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A history of Buckden Towers from 1086


In 1974 the St Claret Centre was opened for conferences and spiritual retreats. In 1988, the Claretian Missionaries launched an appeal to restore and develop the whole complex. The Inner Gatehouse, the Great Tower and the Victorian House were all to be the subject of restoration work. The Inner Gatehouse has been converted into six fully furnished self-catering apartments and a teashop. The Tower has now four levels connected by two spiral staircases. The upper two levels have been converted into dormitories each level containing about twenty beds, showers, wash basins and toilets. The lowest level has been converted into a dining room and fully equipped kitchen and the remaining level has been converted into a large meeting room complete with period fireplace. The whole Tower is now centrally heated and has electric light and running hot and cold water. The Outer Gatehouse now houses offices for the Centre.

The Grounds have also been extensively developed. The National Rivers Authority have dredged the lake; the park has been replanted, the moat re-excavated and Queen Katherine's Tudor Knot Garden has been constructed and was dedicated and opened in 1995.

Work continues to improve the facilities and maintain the fabric of the whole complex.

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