Project information

Paradise Maintain'd

Be on the side of the angels this Christmas & help protect a literary paradise for future generations. Milton's Cottage is the only surviving residence of the poet John Milton - the place where he completed his epic masterpiece Paradise Lost and was inspired to write its sequel, Paradise Regain'd.

3 years

Charity information: Milton's Cottage Trust (CIO)

Milton's Cottage Trust (CIO) logo
  • Need

    Need

    More than any other writer, Milton has shaped our society. The impact of his writing can still be seen in our politics, literature and shared language. Milton's Cottage is our only surviving link to this visionary writer and has been open to the public since 1887 - one of the oldest writers' house museums in the world. It has no permanent endowment, however, and the Trustees have launched Paradise Maintained - an endowment campaign to protect the long-term future of this unique heritage asset.

    Solution

    Creating a permanent endowment fund will help protect Milton's Cottage in perpetuity as the funds we raise will never be spent - only the income it generates. In this way we will secure the long-term future of an irreplaceable literary landmark - as well as engage new audiences with Milton's remarkable legacy.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To preserve this unique literary landmark for future generations


    Activities

    » Undertake a wide range of fundraising activities in support of our Paradise Maintain'd endowment campaign
    » Use income generated by the Paradise Maintain'd Endowment Fund for ongoing maintenance & conservation of this Grade I listed 16th century building
    » Use income generated by the endowment to maintain our Grade II registered literary garden, planted with trees & flowers referenced in Milton's poetry

    What success will look like

    Success will be enabling future generations to visit Milton's Cottage, including working with more schools, community groups and families throughout Buckinghamshire and beyond


    Aim 2

    Safeguard our outstanding public collection of Milton's rare first editions


    Activities

    » Use income generated by the Paradise Maintain'd Endowment Fund to ensure we meet best practice in museum display, conservation and documentation

    What success will look like

    Success will ensure we are able to improve the long-term care of our rare first editions as well as engaging more visitors with the collection at Milton's Cottage


    Aim 3

    Enhance people's lives through literature and the arts


    Activities

    » Hold participatory art workshops to encourage local residents and visitors to explore the written word and express themselves creatively
    » Develop a programme of temporary events and exhibitions to engage new audiences with Milton's Cottage and explore Milton's legacy in our own time
    » Develop dedicated creative writing activities for those traditionally excluded from arts and heritage projects, including prisoners and refugees

    What success will look like

    Success will be measured by more people taking part in participatory art and education workshops that improve literacy and engage new audiences with art, culture & Milton's legacy


  • Impact

    Impact

    Our organisation will be more resilient, with greater capacity to respond to the unpredictable maintenance requirements of a 16th century building as well as adapt to changing political, economic & environmental circumstances to ensure we preserve Milton's Cottage for the nation, build our collection and develop activities that enhance people's lives through literature and the arts. Success will be a 20% increase in the number of people who engage with the museum & Milton's legacy over 3 years

    Risk

    There are risks associated with setting up an endowment fund in the current economic climate. To minimise these, we have set up an endowment committee with experience in financial investment to oversee how our endowment fund is invested. This group meets regularly to review the associated risks and reports back to the Trustees. Overall, we believe the risk is off-set by the far greater risk of NOT establishing an endowment to ensure the long-term future of this irreplaceable literary landmark

    Reporting

    All donations will be individually acknowledged by the Trustees and at that point we will ask permission to send updates about our project progress. All donors will also be invited on a private tour of Milton's Cottage so they can see for themselves what their donations is supporting

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £10,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £10,000 Endowment All donations will go towards our endowment campaign
  • Background

    Location

    Milton's Cottage is based in the small Buckinghamshire village of Chalfont St. Giles, where Milton came to escape the plague in 1665. It has been open to the public as a museum since 1887, following a campaign to purchase Milton's only surviving residence on behalf of the nation. We welcome visitors from all over the world but would like to do more to engage local residents. One of the key ways we will use income generated by our endowment is to improve our community engagement programme.

    Beneficiaries

    - Local young people, families and refugees will benefit from a programme of participatory art activities to engage the local community with Milton's legacy.
    - Prisoners will benefit from our creative writing outreach programme, reflecting the fact that Milton spent time in prison before coming to Milton's Cottage
    - People with visual impairments will benefit from our creative writing outreach programme, reflecting the fact that Milton was blind when he lived at Milton's Cottage

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Milton's Cottage Trust (CIO) has been set up to protect, preserve and maintain public access to Milton's Cottage. As the only surviving residence of John Milton, we believe we are best placed to carry out a project that will help to ensure his contribution to our political and social as well as literary legacy is never lost.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.

    People

    Simon Avery

    As Chairman of the Trustees, Simon will lead on fundraising for this project, including his personal networks, and has donated to past campaigns

    John Dugdale Bradley

    As Trustee & Honorary Treasurer, John will lead on fundraising for this project, including his personal networks, and has donated to past campaigns

    Kelly O'Reilly

    As Business Director, Kelly will oversee all aspects of administration, marketing & PR for the project, as well as working to secure initial pledges