Salthouse church restoration project nears completion
Major restoration work on St. Nicholas Church in the North Norfolk village of Salthouse is almost complete, along with the creation of the new Salthouse History Exhibition Centre.
The 13th century church tower has been completely restored, thanks to a grant of £170,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and a gift of £35,000 from the Friends of Salthouse Church.
The beautiful tower walls of the Grade 1 listed church have been re-pointed with hydraulic lime mortar, and badly decayed lime-stone dressings replaced. Internally, the base of the tower has been re-plastered, and the floor of the Silence Chamber reconstructed incorporating the existing beams. Brick cappings to the stair turret have been replaced and the fragile walls partially rebuilt and repointed. The west wall of the nave has been lime washed including the Lady Chapel and South Porch. The conservation of the Old Chapel ruins will be completed within the next few weeks.
As part of the community action plan, a new Salthouse History Exhibition Centre has been established within the newly restored tower. The village holds a wealth of documents, images and maps about the history of Salthouse, and now, because of the new history centre, these have been brought together by the Salthouse Village History Group, who are involved in managing the interchangeable displays and holding history meetings.
The new centre has generated a lot of interest from the community and from the numerous visitors to the church. One such visitor commented that they were going take the idea back to their own church.
Andrew Wigley, Church Warden & Tower Project Co-ordinator, explains:
“After what was supposed to have been a 30-week project, the scaffolding was finally removed from the newly restored tower at the end of October. Unfortunately, from day one of the contract there were scaffolding installation delays and serious long-term health problems affecting the contractor. The PCC is very grateful to the Heritage Fund for their understanding and patience.
We would also like to thank David Lemon from Spire Property Consultants, the church's surveyor, for his guidance and professionalism throughout the project. I am grateful for his expertise, drive, dedication and support.”
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