Work starts in earnest to protect Hopton’s medieval church
PUBLISHED: 13:15 17 April 2014
A £140,000 project to conserve Hopton’s medieval church is starting in earnest after organisers secured the final funds needed – and the volunteers to undertake the work.
St Margaret’s Church – also known as Hopton Ruined Church – burned down in 1865 and was replaced by the existing church of the same name, on Lowestoft Road.
The grade II*-listed ruin appears on the English Heritage buildings at risk register and is surrounded by a fence because it has been declared a dangerous structure.
But Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust and Hopton Parish Council, which bought the church for a £1 in 2006, have now developed the scheme to repair the structure as a safe ruin.
Now English Heritage has agreed to provide £25,000 towards the project, work can get under way.
Scores of people have responded to a continuing appeal for volunteers, and they will now be taking part in hands-on conservation, surveying and recording.
Franziska Callaghan, lead project officer, said: “This is a chance to save this important piece of Hopton’s history, culture and heritage as a maintained attractive feature in the village, and also to provide vital training opportunities in traditional building skills.”
It is hoped that 65 trainees – who will learn skills such as stone masonry, flint-knapping and lime-mortaring – and 80 volunteers will be involved over the course of the two-year project.
Groups of volunteers are now starting regular surveying sessions, followed by the main conservation work on the walls.
Organisers are keen to recruit more volunteers. No experience is necessary. For more information call 01493 846195.
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