Sir Neil Cossons OBE, former chair of English Heritage, will re-open Bramcote Old Church Tower on Saturday 8 September at 2pm, following wide-ranging conservation work enabled by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
The Grade 2 listed Tower dates from the 13th century and escaped the fate that befell the nave and chancel, demolished by the Victorians to build a new church in Bramcote village. Volunteers rescued the site from neglect 10 years ago, a project that culminated in the awarding of a National Lottery grant of £363,400. Raised by National Lottery players, the money has enabled vital work to be done on the building, the artefacts and the ancient site itself, along with the provision of water, electricity and other visitor facilities.
An alabaster monument dating from the 14th century has been restored and mounted on an inner wall of the Tower, along with two medieval grave slabs and other memorials. New interpretation includes a touch-screen presentation, and the facilities in the adjacent Pod will enable wider use of the site for the community.
Sir Neil, who grew up locally and was a pupil at Henry Mellish Grammar School, is a prominent figure in the museums world. He has been director of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, the National Maritime Museum and the Science Museum and was chairman of English Heritage for seven years. He is Britain’s leading authority on industrial heritage and is a Trustee of the HLF.
“We are very honoured that Sir Neil is coming to open the Tower for us,” said Peter Hillier, chair of the Bramcote Old Church Tower Trust. “He has given us his unfailing support throughout the last 10 years, and that has been a huge encouragement to our hard-working team.”
Family Fun Day, Sunday 9 September 10am – 4pm
A Family Fun Day following the Opening Day is open to everyone. Visitors to this free event will have the chance to see what has been done, take part in activities such as medieval tile-making and enjoy refreshments served from the new Pod facility.
The Trust would like to take this opportunity to thank all the National Lottery players who have helped to make this project possible.
Jonathan Platt, Head of HLF East Midlands, said, “We are delighted to see the restored Bramcote Old Church Tower open to the public and are proud to have played a role in saving and interpreting the building for generations to come. A huge thank-you to National
Lottery Players, who make our funding possible, and to the dedicated team whose hard work and dedication have made this project such a success.”
Source: Press Release from Bramcote Old Church Tower Trust.