Historic ‘sunken church’ tower wins £350,000 in restoration funding

A historic Nottinghamshire site known as ‘the sunken church’ is getting more than £350,000 to restore its crumbling roof and preserve memorials.

Bramcote Old Church Tower dates as far back as the 13th century and has been given £363,400 by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The tower is a Grade II listed building and is known locally as the ‘sunken church’ because the accompanying building to the tower has since been demolished.

Artefacts in the tower, de-consecrated in 2010, include a 16th century bell frame, alabaster wall memorials dating from the 17th and 18th centuries, and an alabaster floor memorial dating from between 1495 and 1510.

Some of the funding will go towards lifting and displaying this to prevent erosion.

What the money will be spent on

  • Alabaster memorial will be restored and repositioned
  • Interactive AV system of the site
  • Roof restoration
  • ‘The pod’ – a construction which will feature storage, a small kitchen and a toilet

Bramcote Old Church Tower Trust chairman Peter Hillier said: “We have worked extremely hard to bring the project to fruition and we were overjoyed to hear that our application had been successful.

“This is a beautiful and special place, loved by so many people.

“Once it was at risk: now it has a sustainable future and there’s so much more to be discovered and so many things we can do.”

The tower survived destruction in the mid-19th century when a new parish church was built in the village to replace it.

Work will also go into conserving ancient grave slabs and on commissioning a survey to determine the footprint of the church.

Trustee Moira Robinson said: “It will always be necessary to raise funds and that will continue but thanks to the HLF we can now go ahead with these really exciting developments.”

Head of HLF Midlands Jonathan Platt said: “Bramcote Old Church Tower is a beautiful site and provides a crucial link to the 13th century.

“Thanks to National Lottery players, we have been able to support the hard work of local volunteers to secure the Tower’s future and give the community the chance to enjoy and explore its rich history for years to come.”

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