Britain's stately homes struggle to survive with Covid restrictions

Kentwell Hall, a 450-year-old house near Bury St. Edmunds in eastern England, is in need of critical repairs it cannot afford after closing its doors to visitors at the start of the coronavirus outbreak. Patrick Phillips, its owner since 1971, is appealing to the government for help as restrictions on events and visits have seen almost all the estate's income disappear.

Video Transcript

PATRICK PHILLIPS: What the public don't often realize is that houses like this are incredibly costly to maintain. The structure of the houses and the structure of all the buildings that you have, walls, in our case like this moat wall here, we have 800 yards of moat wall all the way around the moats behind us, most of which we've had to repair or rebuild or build.

In effect, we have lost nearly the whole of last year, apart from February, which is only a very tiny bit, and what we could manage in July and August. In total, it has been absolutely devastating for us. We don't think that it's right that people like us, living in a big house like this, should be funded by government, so we don't think that's right. But it's government that is killing us at the moment, and that's why we are hoping that the government will give us some funding to compensate for the fact they've done so much harm to us.