WORK will soon start on the £1.4million restoration of the landmark tower of St Mary’s Church in Warwick.
A £250,000 grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund completed the fundraising appeal launched just over a year ago.
The urgent need for the repairs became apparent after a large piece of masonry fell from the 300 plus year-old tower into the street in 2021.
Scaffolding is already going up and from early March contractors and conservation specialists will start repairing the stonework, windows, turrets and heraldic shields.
The Rev Canon Vaughan Roberts, who is retiring shortly after nearly 20 years as vicar of St Mary’s, said: “I am delighted that, as I retire, this vital fundraising campaign has been successfully completed and that I know the church’s landmark tower will be repaired and restored.
“I’m enormously grateful to the team at St Mary’s, Craigmyle (our fundraising partners) and all who have supported us in this brilliant achievement.”
The National Lottery award completed the fundraising appeal which has also been supported by contributions from individual donors, local authorities, Warwick town and district councils respectively, King Henry VIII Endowed Trust, National Churches Trust, Benefact Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation, other local and national charitable funders, and St Mary’s itself.
The church tower appeal has attracted the attention of a number of celebrities including actor Dame Judi Dench who said “the place is very dear to me”.
St Mary’s landmark tower, which is over 130 foot high, was destroyed in the Great Fire of Warwick in 1694 and rebuilt in 1704. Its design was supervised by Sir Christopher Wren. Visible from every direction, for centuries it has been the focal point for travellers as they approach Warwick.