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, …
Visit Icon
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 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.

6. In 2022 we are now 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 the full story.

Upcoming Events

7:30 pm Expert Lecture: Dr Irving Finkel... @ St Leonard's Church
Expert Lecture: Dr Irving Finkel... @ St Leonard's Church
Dec 18 @ 7:30 pm
Ancient and Medieval Board Games Dr Irving Finkel, Assistant Keeper, Department of the Middle East, British Museum. An expert on board games throughout the ages, Irving is a frequent contributor to BBC programmes, including Radio[...]
7:58 pm Expert Lecture: Mark Regan; Bell... @ St Leonard's Church
Expert Lecture: Mark Regan; Bell... @ St Leonard's Church
Feb 15 @ 7:58 pm
Bells and the Landscape of English Memory Mark Regan, Birmingham City University. A renowned expert on bells and bell-ringing, Mark has served as Ringing Master at Worcester Cathedral and at St Mary-le-Bow in London. All[...]
7:30 pm Expert Lecture: Dr Miriam Gill; ... @ St Leonard's Church
Expert Lecture: Dr Miriam Gill; ... @ St Leonard's Church
Mar 12 @ 7:30 pm
Wall Paintings in St Leonard’s Church, Flamstead, and their Wider Context Dr Miriam Gill, Vaughan College, Leicester. Dr Gill is an expert on medieval wall-painting, and has published on the image of the Three Living[...]
all-day Flamstead Arts Festival 2024 @ St Leonard’s Church, Flamstead
Flamstead Arts Festival 2024 @ St Leonard’s Church, Flamstead
Jun 6 – Jun 9 all-day
The inaugural Flamstead Arts Festival is now being planned. It will take place in June 2024 and include a variety of arts and heritage events. Details will be published as they become available. For now,[...]
7:30 pm Expert Lecture: James Mellish et... @ St Leonard's Church
Expert Lecture: James Mellish et... @ St Leonard's Church
Jun 6 @ 7:30 pm
Raising the Roof; the ancient crafts behind the Restoration James Mellish and others, The Flamstead Heritage Project. A retrospective as part of the Arts & Heritage Festival. All lectures start at 19.30 in St Leonard’s[...]

News & Blog Posts

St Leonard’s bells in the news

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...

St Leonard’s bells on Anglia TV

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...