National Lottery supports our heritage project

Thanks to National Lottery players and the
generosity and support of local people,
funds, trusts and organisations, we have been able
to save St Leonard’s Church and share its heritage.

We are now engaged in a fascinating programme of
community activities and multi-media publishing.

St Leonard’s was threatened with closure

Rot and death watch beetle had attacked the oak roof timbers,
with a serious risk of collapse.

Time, weather and unsuitable repairs had badly damaged the stonework.

The nave roof has been repaired

and other essential works carried out.
The building is now leak and damp proof.

The wall paintings, dating from the 13th century, are slowly drying out.
A new hi-tech boiler will maintain a steady temperature and humidity to conserve them.

Heritage is now being shared

We are running an exciting programme of activities, events, and displays,
with something for everyone.

St Leonard’s is a rewarding place to visit

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TAKE PART in a wide range of community heritage ACTIVITIES: something for everyone
talks, drama, family activities, competitions, …
Resources composite icon, showing document, waveform, filmstrip & photo
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, …
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VISIT St Leonard’s to see its TREASURES, with important mediaeval graffiti & wall paintings
displays, exploration trails, children’s activities
About icon showing conventional letter "i" in a circle
Flamstead Heritage: the story so far
News: what’s going on
the Team: about us
Volunteering: getting involved
this Website
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Contact Us: get in touch
Visitors’ Book: send us feedback of your visit
Downloads: PDFs of our printed materials
Notices: includes copyright, privacy, …

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 past few centuries, 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.

6. Between 2022 and 2024 we have been engaged in delivering an exciting programme of heritage activities, publishing informative materials including newly (re-) discovered archives, and providing explanatory displays within the church, making our heritage accessible to all.

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 more of the story.

News & Blog Posts

Festival chair interviewed on local radio

Bill Pither, the chair of the Flamstead Arts Festival committee, was interviewed at length on local radio station Mix 92.6. The interview was broadcast today, May 28th on the Mix Mornings with Elly O‘Meara show, headlined as “Flamstead Arts Festival - what a line...