Visitors climb 60ft church tower in Grandborough

Alan Taylor (Heritage Lottery Fund), Brad Steele (Master Stone Mason), David Sleight (Principal Contractor), John Wright (Chartered Building Surveyor) & Peter Johnson (Project Manager)
Alan Taylor (Heritage Lottery Fund), Brad Steele (Master Stone Mason), David Sleight (Principal Contractor), John Wright (Chartered Building Surveyor) & Peter Johnson (Project Manager)

Brave visitors to Grandborough church got the rare opportunity to climb 60 feet up the tower on Saturday.

Guests put on their hard hats and got up close and personal to see the stonemasons’ restoration work at St Peter’s church.

Project manager Peter Johnson said: “The restoration work was only made possible by the grant of £131,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.”

‘Falling masonry’ signs have now been removed and the 700-year-old church will survive for another century with the love and support of parishioners.

Peter added: “It was the chance of a lifetime to see up close the fine detail of the new tracery and how it compared with the weathered stones which had been there for almost 700 years. We could appreciate how difficult it is to decide what should be preserved and what should be replaced.

“Five apprentice stonemasons have been given a week’s work experience, ten visitors enjoyed a conservation lime and stone day and 30 visitors climbed up the tower scaffolding to see up close what the stonemasons have been doing rather than from 60ft below.

“It has been a great success.”

He said the grant has helped preserve and open up the historic building for the community.

The work should be finished in April.