St Leonard’s is a rewarding place to visit
TAKE PART in a wide range of community heritage ACTIVITIES: something for everyone
|talks, drama, family activities, competitions, …|
|LEARN about our local heritage – with newly created, informative digital RESOURCES|
|booklets, articles, stories, learning materials, videos|
RESEARCH newly (re-) discovered, curated & digitised local ARCHIVE materials
|historic records, photos, books, documents, …|
Flamstead Heritage – the story so far
1. St Leonard’s has been at the centre of the Flamstead community for 900 years. It was built in stages during the mediaeval period, not always with best practice. As a “poor agricultural parish” in the modern period, there were never enough funds to maintain it.
2. In 2017, our ancient, Grade 1 listed church was threatened with closure. Its heritage, with important mediaeval graffiti and wall paintings, and its roles, both religious and community, were threatened.
3. Death watch beetle and the ravages of time had destroyed the nave roof, with other repairs urgently needed.
4. By 2020 the Flamstead Heritage Project had been created, over £1m raised from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, through other grants, and from local matched funding. Major restoration building works were able to start.
5. Building work continued during the pandemic, but delivery of the associated heritage programme had to be suspended. By the end of 2021
- the nave roof had been restored,
- the south side clerestory windows repaired in stone, and other works completed,
- the wall paintings protected from water damage, and the church saved.
7. Together with other projects that brought the church facilities from the 19th century to the 21st, St Leonard’s has been transformed. Alongside its traditional role, it is now an engaging place to visit and a popular venue for community events. An ongoing maintenance plan means it will be preserved for future generations.
8. St Leonard’s has been rescued, its heritage is being rediscovered, but there is still more to do. This website has the full story.
News & Blog Posts
From October 23rd to 25th, St Leonard's bells were removed from their tower for the first time in 100 years. This event was newsworthy enough to be covered by both the BBC and ITV. ITV Anglia covered the story in their evening news broadcasts on October 24th. You can...
The six bells at St Leonard's are off for refurbishment for the first time in 100 years. The story was covered by Anglia TV in the 6 o'clock local news and can be viewed here. Look for "Watch the latest ITV News Anglia West programme". It's the final item in the...