'Medieval wonder' Northamptonshire church awarded cash lifeline

The money has been awarded as part of a Government bail out scheme

By Alison Bagley
Tuesday, 13th October 2020, 7:00 am

One of East Northamptonshire’s churches, described as a ‘medieval wonder’ has been given a crucial lifeline as part of a Government package to ensure our important sites of cultural interest survive the coronavirus pandemic.

Managed by The Churches Conservation Trust, All Saints Church, which lies at the edge of Aldwincle, has been awarded a grant of £86,204 by the Cultural Recovery Fund for Heritage.

Disused for 100 years All Saints Church was declared redundant in 1976 and transferred to the care of the trust - the national charity protecting historic churches at risk.

The church, has been described by trust as a medieval wonder, is one of two churches in the village. It has connections with seventeenth-century poet John Dryden who was born at the Old Rectory, opposite the church and baptised in the church where his grandfather was the rector.

Tom Pursglove, MP for Corby and East Northants, said: “I am delighted that this grant, from the Government’s heritage package, has been awarded to the beautiful church of All Saints in Aldwincle.

“These grants are aimed at restarting construction and maintenance on cherished heritage sites to preserve visitor numbers and protect livelihoods for some of the most vulnerable heritage specialists and contractors in the sector.”

The Churches Conservation Trust successfully applied to the Cultural Recovery Fund for Heritage, set up to help the country’s cultural gems survive the coronavirus pandemic.

All Saints Church, Aldwincle

All Saints Church's pinnacled and carved 15th Century tower dominates the surrounding countryside and is known for its carved birds, beasts and creatures adorning its exterior.

The 'Chambre chantry' chapel of 1489 is also considered to be of exceptional quality.

Currently the medieval church offers 'champing' - church camping - at £49 per adult per night (children £1) until the end of October. Click here for details. The Cultural Recovery Fund for Heritage is funded by the Government and delivered by heritage experts - the Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund - to support organisations in England across the heritage sector that have fallen on hard times due to the pandemic.

More than £67m is being shared out among of 433 successful applicants from across England to help with key repair and maintenance work, and help sites operate and recover.

Champing in All Saints Church Aldwincle

A raft of famous sites across the country have been awarded funding including historical areas, buildings, monuments, collections, museums, archives and places of worship.

Mr Pursglove added: “All Saints Church is part of the heritage of East Northamptonshire and I am thrilled that this money will help it weather the covid storm and be there for future generations to enjoy.

“Not only can we learn so much and gain so much insight from our heritage, but it also provides jobs and a boost for the local economy in many ways.

“And as we get through this unprecedented pandemic, churches like this and the tremendous work done there can undoubtedly play a part in our recovery. Huge credit must go to the Government for this invaluable support.”

Other county organisations receiving grants In the same tranche of Government funding are: Other Northamptonshire organisations receiving a grant are: Rushden Historical Transport Society - £31,900; Silverstone Heritage Ltd / The Silverstone Experience - £572,000; The 78 Derngate Northampton Trust - £38,400; The Kelmarsh Trust £263,600; Wicksteed Charitable Trust - £247,000; Delapre Abbey Preservation Trust - £143,100; Northampton Steam Railway Limited - £46,000; and Rockingham Castle Estates - £273,400.