Town’s 13th century church awarded thousands in heritage funding

St Nicholas Church, Wells. Picture: Ian Burt

St Nicholas Church, Wells. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

A restoration of a grade-listed church in north Norfolk has received national backing after being awarded nearly £40,000 in funding.

Wells, St. Nicholas church. Picture: Sam Robbins

Wells, St. Nicholas church. Picture: Sam Robbins

Wells Parochial Church Council (PCC), the group responsible for the day-to-day running of St Nicholas Church in Wells, has secured the funds from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The project aims to restore the building, which is on the Heritage England At Risk Register, and deliver new activities to forge stronger links with its community.

Revd Brenda Stewart said she was “delighted” with the support.

“St Nicholas Church has always been such an important building in Wells-next-the-Sea and it’s great to know that we are a step closer to preserving it for future generations of local people and visitors to our town,” she said.

“We’re also very excited about the community projects that are being planned and developing our churchyard as a green lung for all.”

A grade II listed , the church was originally built in the 13th century with a large scale restoration taking place around 1460. It was destroyed by a fire in 1879 and the only part to survive was the medieval tower and the main body of the church, which was re-built in 1883.

READ MORE: Thunderbolts and fire - community remembers town church blaze.

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Development funding of £39,200 has been awarded to help Wells PCC progress its plans to apply for a full National Lottery grant at a later date.

A spokesperson from the group said: “In addition to restoring St Nicholas Church, we plan to establish it as a heritage learning hub in partnership with other providers across the town.

“The project will also deliver a new interpretative scheme linked to the successfully established scheme at Wells Maltings and the Wonderful Wells Town Trail, which uses the church as its hub but is also available at multiple outlets - including Wells Harbour.

“As part of the project, a new wellbeing conservation area will be created within the churchyard, hard hat days will be held, and training programmes for teachers, church volunteers and town guides will be delivered.”

Detailed proposals will now be considered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund at a second round, where a decision is made on the award of delivery funding of £287,900.