Heritage Lottery Grant Secures Future for Church House
The Church House Project at South Tawton , Devon , has been awarded a grant of £274,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in order to carry out vital renovations to Church House. It is one of the best examples of a Church House in the country and has some unique features such as a roof structure which preserves cruck trusses and rare smoke-blackened thatch.
The Church House, built in the late 15th or early 16th century, is an outstanding example of a medieval building type, which still remains in parish ownership and has been used by the community for over 500 years.
The HLF grant will be used for essential work including re-thatching, renovations to the fabric of the building, upgrading of access arrangements and improved facilities. The work that the HLF grant is paying for will allow Church House to become more accessible to local people and others interested in their heritage.
The work, which it is hoped will start in October 2004, will be carried out under the supervision of a specially appointed architect with wide experience of heritage building work.
Once renovated, Church House will continue to be used for community activities but importantly it will also be opened to the general public at weekends from May to October or by arrangement. Other activities are also planned for the restored building including art exhibitions, local history study meetings, educational usage, and lectures.
David Youle of the Church House Management Committee said "We are delighted with the funding we have received as it secures the future of this fine medieval community building".
Nerys Watts , the South West Regional Manager for the Heritage Lottery Fund said "I am very pleased that we have been able to support the South Tawton Church House project with an HLF grant of £274,000. This funding will help to breath life back into an important part of Devon 's heritage, preserving the Church House for future generations whilst allowing those living today to enjoy and use what will once again become an important community facility. "