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Restored Upton Cressett Hall wins hidden gem award (8th December 2011)

One of the finest Tudor manor houses in Shropshire has been voted as the UK’s top hidden gem at an award ceremony. Upton Cressett Hall, near Bridgnorth, beat off competition from some of the country’s top attractions to land the prestigious Hudson’s Heritage Industry Award.

Owner William Cash said he was incredibly proud to have won following two years of intensive restoration work at the family home.

“These are national awards and to be consider the most hidden gem in the whole country is quite an honour,” he said.

“We were up against some major houses and it’s a tribute to the unspoilt beauty of the countryside.

“The hidden gem award was not just for the house but the whole hamlet of Upton Cressett.

“We are incredibly proud and it’s the magical quality of the countryside around this heritage attraction, in the Bridgnorth area.

“We are looking forward to sharing this hidden gem with as many people in Shropshire as possible.”

An interior shot of the dining room in Upton Cressett Hall, near Bridgnorth

The inaugural awards, launched by Hudson’s Heritage Group, are designed to honour achievement and success in the UK leisure heritage industry.

The award was presented to Mr Cash, whose father, Stone MP Bill Cash, lived in the house before him, during a celebratory luncheon at the Marriott Grosvenor Square on Thursday, with celebrity hosts Lloyd Grossman and Lucinda Lambton.

The awards recognise excellence in the heritage leisure industry across 13 categories from restoration and wedding venues, through to hidden gems and best gardens.

To ensure all aspects of the heritage market were taken into consideration, the judging panel comprised four experts from the worlds of heritage, tourism and architecture.

They were chairman Norman Hudson, founder of Hudson’s Historic Houses and Gardens; Simon Foster, consultant advisor to historic house owners and managers; Lucinda Lambton, writer, photographer and broadcaster; and Jeremy Musson, writer, broadcaster and country house expert.

The panel selected 13 winners in total and 12 venues were also given highly commended awards.