Urgent £650,000 repairs needed to fix 'hazardous' tower at St Mary's - The Leamington Observer

Urgent £650,000 repairs needed to fix 'hazardous' tower at St Mary's

URGENT repairs totaling £650,000 are needed to make the ‘hazardous and disintegrating’ tower at St Mary’s Church safe again.

Volunteers at the medieval church are trying to raise the money to fund the repairs, which will include securing loose stonework. It follows a report which looked into the state of the 174 foot tower and found the building was ‘flaking and disintegrating’.

Some £150,000 of the money will go towards paying for a ‘scaffolding basket’, which means the surrounding roads and pavements should not be blocked while work takes place.

St Mary’s volunteer Mary Adams said: “The iconic tower, which dominates Warwick’s skyline and can be seen from many miles away, is suffering from the effects of three centuries of weathering and is now in urgent need of restoration.

“Over time different types of stone and mortar have been used for repairs and chemical reactions between these dissimilar materials have exacerbated the effects of weathering. As a result, there is a great deal of flaking and disintegration of the stonework. A recent specialist report concluded that the need for repair is ‘urgent to secure hazardous loose masonry’.”

The tower was built along with the rest of the church by Earl of Warwick Roger de Newburgh in 1123 but was destroyed in the great fire of Warwick some 400 years later.

It was rebuilt in 1704 by brothers Francis and William Smith who were both architects in the town. Since that time numerous repairs have been carried out.

To help fix the damage caused by weathering, volunteers have planned a fund-raising night called ‘Love, of course’.

At the church on Saturday March 18 from 7pm Warwick-based Da Capo choir will sing a selection of love songs while a six-course taster menu is provided by caterers Clara’s Kitchen. A glass of bubbly will be served on arrival and drinks are available from the bar.

Tickets cost £50 each, £250 for a table of six or £400 for ten. Email [email protected] or 01926 403940 to book tickets.

Visit www.dacapochoir.org.uk to find out more about the choir.

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