“Saving Knapton’s Angels”
In August 2013, the first application for funding was made to Heritage Lottery Fund, this was following patch repairs to the church roof in October 2012. Unfortunately, this was turned down for various reasons. Not to be put off a second application was made in February 2014, this time the application was successful, the project was described as;
“Urgent high level structural. repairs to the badly leaking roof of the
nave and repairs to the fabric of the tower including the removal of the asbestos from within
the tower of Knapton Church and to the associated gutters, down pipes and soakaways, to
make the building weather proof. Plus, the research necessary for and the creation of new
guide books and website. On completion, the heritage will be in a much better condition
and more, and a wider range of people will be involved with it. Also, the installation of a
Disabled Toilet and Kitchenette, giving the building a greater use for the community and
Work began in November 2015 with the removal of all the Asbestos from the Tower. The main work began on the church in April 2016. The Tower has had extensive repairs to the Stonework, extra repairs had to be carried out where the damage was found to be more extensive that first allowed for. Whilst this was progressing work began inside the church with the removal of the collection of Grave Covers from the west end of the nave. The conservator who oversaw the removal and re positioning in the Chancel reported;
“In conclusion, this is a remarkable collection
of high status memorial sculpture dating to between c.1120-1250, unique as a group in
Norfolk at least, and all pre-dating the present church at Knapton. As such there is no
doubt that they are of exceptional regional as well as local cultural significance.”
Due to the unique collection of covers it was decided by the Churches Building Council that they should not be covered by the Choir stalls as originally decided, a Faculty Variance was applied for and granted. This means that the grave covers are now on full display to visitors.
All the Rainwater goods have been replaced. Following the removal of the concrete skirt, the new rainwater drainage channels were dug and the pipe work put in place. The south nave roof was replaced, and the Chancel Arch was also repaired on both faces. The disabled toilet and kitchenette were installed, this will give increased use of the building by the community.
In March 2017 a Thanksgiving Service was held, led by The Rt Revd Jonathan Meyrick Bishop of Lynn to celebrate the completion of the major restoration works. The cost of the latest repairs and improvements was £374,961.
Allison Jackson and Elizabeth Winter
Click On The Images Above To Enlarge
The rest of the report is inside our lovely Church booklets which are on sale now inside the Church