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The owner, James Hervey-Bathurst, has been given a CBE in the New Year’s Honours List.

The award recognises his contribution to the cause of the country’s heritage, through his work with the Historic Houses Association.

Mr James Hervey-Bathurst has been president of the association for the past five years and served as deputy president for five years before that.

The Historic Houses Association represents the interests of the owners of 1,500 properties across Britain, ranging from grand mansions and castles such as Eastnor, to more modest but equally venerable properties such as Anne Hathaway’s cottage in Stratford.

“The big issue of the last five years has been, jointly with the National Trust and English Heritage, to persuade the Government of the value and importance of our built heritage,” he said.

“It’s been a struggle but I think we’ve improved their perception of heritage.”

However, he warned that along with every other sector, the heritage industry is being hit by the current economic climate.

“It will be more difficult in the future.  It would be nice to think the Government will continue to support us, but I suspect that we will suffer along with everybody else.”

But he said he was delighted with the award, not only for himself but for the organisation.

“This honour should be seen as a reflection of the hard work of all the owners of private historic houses, and their contribution to UK tourism, culture and education,”.