Alnham Restoration

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The Restoration Project

In 2015, a report on the physical condition of St Michael’s Church highlighted serious structural problems, and the church was placed on Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk’ register.

In response, the community made a successful bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund, as well as securing grants from other funding bodies, to rescue the church.

Work began in the summer of 2018. Repairs were made to a leaking roof and poor guttering, damaged windows, and the bell tower; drainage problems, rot and woodworm were also addressed. The Victorian Pews were removed, the floors lifted, and the walls stripped of damp plaster.

By the autumn, the restoration work was complete, and St Michael’s was removed from the ‘Heritage at Risk’ register.

As a result of the building work, several interesting historic finds were made. These included some Saxon gravestones, along with ‘lost’ arches in the north nave wall, which would have led to a north aisle extension to the church. It was also possible to confirm the date of the church’s bell from its inscription – ‘Alnham 1759’.

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The restoration work enabled the floor of the church to be levelled out, and this has produced a wonderful new open space. In addition, a kitchen area has been created in the vestry, along with a toilet. This means that the church can now be used for a number of community activities, as well as for worship.

This is not the end of the story: work to secure a sustainable future for St Michael’s is not complete, and funds are being actively sought to provide heating and suitable seating, and to complete the kitchen.

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