Tower emergency 

Urgent repairs needed to tackle dangerous condition of parts of historic tower.

To go straight to make a donation, visit our Tower Emergency Giving page.

In May 2019, while we were doing work to assess the specific repair needs on the upper tower in preparation for funding bids for our Tower Top To Bottom project, we discovered that the condition of parts of the structure was much worse than we thought. Towards the top, on the north side (the back looking from the Beck) there is a double bell opening with a substantial 13th Century arch over it. We knew there was a bit of loose stonework and a need for temporary pointing. So we got historic stonework people, Pinnacle, to come and do a temporary fix from a terrifyingly high cherry-picker.
cherry picker
The plan was to pull the top of the tower safely together with ratcheted bands, to put small props in the gaps in the masonry, and to put in a removable mortar pointing, a bit like a temporary filling.

This was fine, except that on closer observation the shaped stonework of the top of the arch - a sophisticated structure where the load is shared through the shape of the keystones and other limestone pieces - was dreadfully degraded.
Damaged arch keystones
The state of this stonework was such that there was a risk of collapse, bringing heavy stonework down on the roof of the North Aisle, above the toilet and kitchen. We had to close the facilities and the area at the rear of the N Aisle, we had to suspend all bell-ringing and access to the tower, and we had to plan and commission urgent repairs.
Under the guidance of our heritage architect, Carl Andrews of Soul Architects, we commissioned work costing over £20,000 to start as soon as possible. We obtained emergency permission from the Chancellor of the Diocese, and gave Pinnacle the go-ahead. A big part of the cost is the scaffolding.
Tower Scaffolding
So now the stonemasons have been able to remove the dangerously loose pieces and measure up, so that new Ancaster Hard White stone can be cut from the quarry, trimmed to size and carved to shape. This will take at least until the middle of August, when we expect to be able to take down the scaffolding and get on with normal life until the big restoration project.

Tower masons on scaffold
We need all the help we can get, financially. We have approached a national fund to recover the VAT, and we have had a generous grant from West Lindsey District Council. We still need just over £10,000. If you would like to help, please go to our Tower Emergency Giving page, or come to see us on the green or in the Parish Centre.