Grant for last resting place of ‘Noble Impe’
THE Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded its biggest grant of the year towards the £2.4 million appeal to maintain Warwick’s magnificent parish church.
The Collegiate Church of St Mary - which includes the medieval Beauchamp Chapel - is to receive £324,000 from the national lottery fund administered by English Heritage.
The money will be specifically targeted at the £1.2 million alone needed for repairs to the chapel, built between 1443 and 1464, which contains the tombs of Richard Beauchamp and Ambrose Dudley, both Earls of Warwick, along with Elizabeth I’s royal favourite Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester, and his four-year-old son, the “Noble Impe.”
Last year one of the stone angels on an outside wall of the chapel crashed down into the gift shop.
Up-to-date estimates will now be sought for the dismantling and reassembly of the flying buttresses and pinnacles of the chapel to provide extra support, as well as repairing more of the stonework and damaged stone mullions.
On Wedesday Rev Dr Vaughan Roberts, the team rector based at St Mary’s said: “We are enormously grateful for this grant from English Heritage towards our continuing fundraising.
“We are also continuing to work with members of the local community, as well as applying for other grants so that we can secure enough money to enable us to pass on this building to the next generation.”
As well as regular worshippers, some 33,000 visitors a year take the time to look round the church, in Old Square, or attend one of the many musical events staged there.
A church spokeswoman said they now needed to go “flat-out” on other trust applications and money-raising events to stand a realistic hope of reaching the overall £2.4 million maintenance and repairs target. Although in recent months the rector has received an anonymous donation of £100,000 from a private charitable trust as well as a further £15,000 from the seventheenth century Will of Lady Katherine Leveson, who left cash specifically for the repair of the chapel.
And while St Mary’s benefited from national Heritage Lottery cash, two other Grade I listed churches in the area have also received sizeable donations from the regional fund.
They are St Nicholas church in Warwick, which has been granted £109,000 to repair stonework and windows in the south nave and to replace stone pinnacles that used to stand above it.
Another beneficiary is the Church of All Saints in Burton Dassett, awarded £21,000 to recover the nave roof in steel.
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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