Two East Midlands medieval churches saved

Two medieval churches in the East Midlands join The Churches Conservation Trust today, becoming the 348th and 349th churches in our care.

A special event tomorrow, 15th April, at St Mary’s Church at Freeby in Leicestershire (Pictured above © Tim Heaton & below © Russ Hamer) will welcome the church to the Trust and celebrate the completion of conservation work on the Grade I listed church, which has been carried out by The Churches Conservation Trust in partnership with Historic England at a cost of more than £450,000. The event will also mark Grade II* listed St Botolph’s at Wardley in Rutland coming into our care, and feature information about this charming church.

St Mary’s dates from the early 14th century, with a 15th century clerestory and tower. A new north aisle roof was installed in 1841, and the church was restored in 1893-4. The church is also home to a maternity roost for Natterer’s bats and conservation works have had to take these precious creatures into consideration.

In the 1980s the church was considered for closure, and it was closed in 2001, on safety grounds due to structural movement and cracking. Following completion of conservation works, the church will now be available for community events and visits.

Fifteen miles away to the south, St Botolph’s at Wardley (Pictured right © Kate Jewell) is known for its south doorway – dating from c. 1175 – and its early 13th century nave and 14th century tower. Conservation works will take place at St Botolph’s over the next few months.

Local residents are needed to help care for and organise events at St Mary’s and St Botolph’s and interested parties are invited to contact Volunteering Officer David Adgar on [email protected] or 07733 108553.