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The HLF Story

During the years 2014 ~ 2016 this page was regularly updated, hence it starts at the bottom of this page, and finishes here.

Finishing touches 2016

Posted 27th April 2016

New signs and notices for the church, inside and out.

Posted 26th April 2016

Publication of our trifold leaflets, "Church Heritage Trail" (see below and  also this link)

and "St. Peter's Church Clippesby" available for visitors to the church.  Also in the church we now have descriptive paddle boards for our younger visitors to take round with them.

A Church Heritage Trail from Clippesby to Flegg Churches in the Norfolk Broads National Park.

Norfolk has a rich heritage of mediaeval churches in a greater concentration than anywhere else in Europe. Many of them, like S. Peter's at Clippesby, have round towers, these are rare outside of East Anglia.  We are extremely fortunate to have an organisation like the Heritage Lottery Fund to help in repairing and restoring these architectural gems.

Preparation for the Repair Project at St. Peter's began in 2013 when deterioration to the fabric of the building became serious due to dampness -previous work to correct this had not been successful. In 2014 after the HLF had agreed to fund our project we embarked on a development phase which resulted in various reports dealing with different aspects of our beautiful church. these showed that other work would be needed in the future to conserve the stained glass windows and possibly expose the the 19C wall paintings that were plastered over.

Finally work started in earnest in 2015 under the watchful eye of architects Nicholas Warns and Iain Walker, quantity surveyor Mike Harris of Philip Pank and builder Jeff Atthowe. Archeologist Sara Bates was in attendance during the excavations for drainage..( Mediaeval bones were unearthed and these were given a reburial in the churchyard with the service as used for the reburial of King Richard 111.)

The Heritage Lottery Fund is also helping restoration at Fleggburgh and Thurne, two of the churches in our Trail booklet, In the past Rollesby has been in receipt of funding and Martham and Repps churches are applying for funding, so you can see what a big part is being played by the Heritage Lottery Fund to help to keep this part of our heritage alive for future generations to enjoy, admire and feel part of.

What happened at our church in 2015

December 30th 2015 - Completion!

The present repair project for St. Peter's has been completed after a really wonderful year full of things happening above ground, below ground, on the roof, on the tower, and in the church itself.

The architects had a vision of what needed doing and the builders were very skilled in carrying out the restoration work to a high standard. And what made it all possible were the generous grants and donations given by the Heritage Lottery Fund and other charities , together with the tireless fund-raising activities of our dedicated Events Team.

We have photographs to illustrate some of what has been happening (scroll down this page)

We are so happy that these repairs have been achieved so that St. Peter's roof is watertight and the walls should not suffer from dampness any longer. To celebrate the completion of this  costly project we aim to have a big 'thank you' party in the springtime to which our donors will be invited.

Posted November 30th 2015

A view inside the round tower of St. Peter's Church showing John working on the existing cupboards, replacing panelling damaged by dry rot and renewing the shelves and curved worktop. .

The tower room seen through the Victorian carved tower arch which shows the completed work on the cupboards and the sink with a cold water tap and drainage outlet. This will be so good for us. No more carting water to & fro, no more taking home dirty glasses & cups! It's so new we haven't used it yet but a coffee morn is coming up very soon!

Posted September 16th 2015

Archeologist, Sarah Bates, discovers old Clippesby residents from mediaeval times.

Architect, Iain Walker of Nicholas Warns Architect Ltd. with surveyor, Mike Harris of Philip Pank & Partners and builder, Jeff Atthoe after a site meeting in Clippesby Church.

Posted July 2015

As you can see from these - to us - very exciting photos taken by Liz Durrant, restorarion work at Clippesby Church is under way.

Whilst the surrounds to the tower are blocked by safety fences, the entrance to the church from the car park is accessible and the church building remains open for visitors. (It is monitored by CCTV)

The builders and architect discovered cracks in the fabric of the tower which were not apparent until the scaffolding made viewing possible; these together with the repairs to the parapets and roof have been attended to, and when this part of the restoration is completed the work will move on to the nave and chancel .

The restoration project, to cure the serious damp problems inside the church, has been made possible by very

generous grants, firstly by The Heritage Lottery Fund providing the major funding and also by other charities


The Paul Bassham Charitable Trust

Allchurches Trust Limited

The Pennycress Trust

The Round Tower Churches Society

The Garfield Weston Foundation

The Bishop's Fabric Fund

The Norfolk Churches Trust

The Geoffrey Watling Charity

Our debt of gratitude to the above donors is immense. Also we are very grateful to generous

members & friends of Clippesby PCC, all of whom have helped to make happen the restoration of this ancient and beautiful round tower church. 

Besides the funding is the expertise of our architects and builders, Nicholas Warns Architect Ltd., and G.F.Atthowe Builders Ltd.

Posted May 29th 2015

The Clippesby PCC is delighted to announce that the Heritage Lottery Fund have given their permission for the Delivery Stage of the repairs to St. Peter's to start. So we have had our first on site meeting with the architect and the contractors.

The builder plans to begin tower repairs on the 15th of June. We don't envisage having to close the church at all whilst the work is taking place - it should take no longer than twentytwo weeks - but there will be both repairs to the tower and the rest of the building as well as below ground works so there is bound to be some disruption.

The HLF are sending 50% of their  grant to allow the work to start and in addition to this very generous grant the PCC has received other very generous grants; the Allchurches Trust Limited sent a cheque for £2,750; the Round Tower Churches Trust have promised £2,000; The Bishop's Fabric Fund has offered £1,000 and last year the Paul Bassham Charitable Trust gave us a cheque for £1,000. The PCC members are extremely grateful to all of our kind benefactors; without their generosity we would be unable to tackle all the much-needed urgent repairs.

Posted April 2015

We find that unfortunately we are unable to obtain Permission to Start from The Heritage Lottery Fund until we have all the match funding in place, so this means that we are trying very hard to access grants from other charitable bodies.  We are very grateful to the Paul Bassham Charitable Trust for a generous grant of £1,000.  Other bodies that we have approached are the Norfolk Churches Trust, Allchurches Trust, The Garfield Weston Foundation and Churchcare.

The Outreach Fund-raing Committee have been very busy so far this year and they have lots of events planned for the Summer and Autumn. The amount that we still need to find is around £9,500, which leaves us quite a way to go.

Posted 4th August, 2014

The Bat Conservancy carried out its second night-long bat watch

Posted 16th July, 2014:-

Slowly but surely, progress is being made in the background: i.e., form filling, report studying, phone conversations, consultations.....   e.g., :-

Extracts from    "Statement of Significance"

Section 1: Brief history and description of the church building(s), contents, churchyard and setting

“A very fine church dating from the C12 or possibly earlier, with much fabric of that period survivingC13,C14 and C15 alterations, and further C19 work including a delightful octagonal belfry with a lead roof limestone details of various periods. Many early details internally including deep splayed window openings, Holy Water stoup, C13 piscina and aumbry, and C15 font. Surviving evidence on the walls of fine C19 polychrome decoration. Other C19 includes dado panelling and pews. There are two C16 important memorial brasses.”

Report by Malcolm Starr, English Heritage Architect on 25th June 2013

Section 2: The significance of the church (including its contents and churchyard) in terms of:

i) Its special architectural and historical interest

ii) Any significant features of artistic or archaeological interest

For significance please see above.

We have reports from Nicholas Warns Architect, Malcolm Starr EH Architect, Devlin Plummer, Stained Glass expert, Hugh Richmond, Historic Buildings Consultant, Philip Parker, Environmental Consultant, Sarah Bates, Archeologist, Andrea Kirkham, Wallpaintings Expert.

Section 3: Assessment of the impact of the proposals on the significance defined in Section 2

The proposed work will ensure continued use of the church for worship and allow it to remain open for the many visitors who appreciate and enjoy its peacefulness and history.

Statement of Needs

Section 1. General information

The church is regularly used for worship and is the only building in this small village that is freely available for community use.

Section 2. What do you need?

Our need is to address the damp problems that are threatening survival of this historic church.

Section 3.  The proposals

It is vital for the preservation of the fabric of the church and the comfort of the congregation that rainwater is conducted away from the church as efficiently as possible.

Section 4. Why do you need it and why do you need it now?


We are on the English Heritage At Risk Register  in the “Very Bad” category

Section 5. Justification

Our proposals will do no harm but they will enhance benefits to the public.

Posted 16th July, 2014:-

Copy of resolution passed at meeting of Clippesby PCC on the 9th of July 2014.

“This PCC agrees to proposed work on St.Peter’s Church Clippesby, to be carried out by Nicholas Warns Architect Ltd to replace the rainwater goods and drainage to the Nave, Chancel and Porch, Repair the Tower parapet. Replace the Tower rainwater chutes and install catch pits at the base of the Tower. Replace the weathercock mast. Alterations to 8 no. pews at the west end of the Nave. Installation of a mains water supply to the Tower. Repair and adaption of the existing tower cupboards into a new kitchenette.”

Posted 27th March, 2014

We had visits from architects, historians, conservationists, a wall painting expert, a wild life consultant, an archeologist, scaffolders, builders, an asbestos consultant, all writing their reports for the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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