The Eastnor Church Tower Appeal Committee is delighted to announce that it has secured support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund following an application made at the end of 2019.
The £100,000 grant will go towards the restoration of the tower and bell ring and support the addition of a servery and WC once formal Planning Permission is given. Thanks to National Lottery players, the project will not only help preserve the fabric of the 13th century tower and allow the bells to ring again, but also mean that the church can be used for a wider range of village and county functions, giving improved access and interpretation to visitors and better facilities for the congregation, wedding guests and the village school, who use it regularly for assemblies. A short video will introduce the history of the church and its monuments, with further information and images available via a new website. There will also be a discovery trail for children and a printed guidebook for older visitors.
Eastnor Church is Grade 1 Listed and on the Heritage at Risk Register. It is an important landmark in the Eastnor Conservation Area and attracts many visitors from overseas. It is popular with wedding couples holding their receptions at Eastnor Castle.
The Revd Keith Hilton-Turvey, Rector of Ledbury & Eastnor, said: “We are delighted with the generosity of the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Repairs to the ancient tower are long overdue, and I welcome the plans to improve other facilities in the church in the way that other churches have in our area”.
James Hervey-Bathurst, Chairman of the Appeal committee said: “Wonderful news! It is very exciting that our hard work has been rewarded by this grant from National Lottery Heritage Fund We still need to raise more, but the this grant is a very good endorsement for our project, and we are confident we can reach our target. We have had a lot of support from local people and charities too”
Work is due to start in June under the supervision of John Middleton of Nick Joyce Architects, Worcester. A local specialist contractor has been appointed, and the building team will include a young apprentice.