One of East Northamptonshire’s churches, described as a ‘medieval wonder’ has been given a crucial lifeline, as part of a Government package to ensure our important sites of cultural interest survive the coronavirus pandemic.
The Conservation Trust at All Saints Church, which lies at the edge of the picturesque village of Aldwincle, in East Northamptonshire has today (Friday) been awarded a grant of £86,204.
Conservative MP Tom Pursglove welcomed the news saying: “I am delighted that this grant, from the Government’s heritage package, has been awarded to the beautiful church of All Saints in Aldwincle.
“These grants are aimed at restarting construction and maintenance on cherished heritage sites to preserve visitor numbers and protect livelihoods for some of the most vulnerable heritage specialists and contractors in the sector.”
All Saints Church has a pinnacled and carved 15th Century tower which dominates the surrounding countryside and has carved birds, beasts and other creatures on its exterior. The seventeenth-century poet John Dryden was born nearby and baptised in the church - his grandfather was the rector. The Chambre chantry chapel of 1489 is also considered to be of exceptional quality.
The Churches Conservation Trust successfully applied to the Cultural Recovery Fund for Heritage, set up to help the country’s cultural gems survive the coronavirus pandemic.
The CRF is funded by the Government and delivered by heritage experts - the Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund - to support organisations in England across the heritage ecosystem that are local and national treasures but have fallen on hard times due to the pandemic.
Today, more than £67m is being shared out among of 433 successful applicants from across England to help with key repair and maintenance work, and help sites operate and recover.
A raft of famous sites across the country have been awarded funding including historical areas, buildings, monuments, collections, museums, archives and places of worship.
“All Saints Church is part of the heritage of East Northamptonshire and I am thrilled that this money will help it weather the covid storm and be there for future generations to enjoy.
“Not only can we learn so much and gain so much insight from our heritage, but it also provides jobs and a boost for the local economy in many ways.
“And as we get through this unprecedented pandemic, churched like this and the tremendous work done there can undoubtedly play a part in our recovery. Huge credit must go to the Government for this invaluable support.”
In the same tranche of Government funding, Rockingham Castle Estates has also been awarded £273,400 of the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage managed jointly by Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.