Historic England, the public body that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate the nation’s historic environment, has awarded St. Martin’s Church, Kingsbury Episcopi, £12,500 from the Covid-19 Emergency Response Cultural Recovery Fund to replace the lead roofing of the Lady Chapel, stolen by thieves in February 2020.
Visible for miles across West Moor in the Somerset Levels, the elaborate and lofty 3 stage Hamstone tower of St Martin’s Anglican parish church draws the eye. The church is a Grade 1 listed place of worship that, sadly, has been added this year to the Heritage at Risk register.
Built mainly in the C14 and C15, with substantial restoration in the C19, the church was noted by Pevsner for its glorious light. The theft of a substantial amount of lead from the roof, and the subsequent Covid-19 lockdown which adversely impacted the ability of St. Martin’s PCC to co-ordinate repair works, left the church structure vulnerable to further structural deterioration; especially the Lady Chapel ceiling with its medieval elements. The roof repair is being undertaken by Ellis and Co., conservation and restoration specialists, and will expected to be completed by the end of November.
The church is an active place of worship for the village, and open to the public for Sunday worship and private prayer every week during Covid-19 restrictions. We hope to return to being open daily as soon as possible; and look forward to welcoming back our parishioners and visitors.
About St. Martin's Church
A lovely rural Church on the edge of the South Somerset Levels, St. Martin’s origins lie in a much older Saxon church. This is a place that saw the ravages of Cromwell’s soldiers and later fell into a perilous state, before being renovated between 1845 and 1849. We are a small, but welcoming congregation who worship God with a mixture of liturgy.
About Historic England
Historic England is the public body that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England’s spectacular historic environment, from beaches and battlefields to parks and pie shops. We protect, champion and save the places that define who we are and where we’ve come from as a nation. We care passionately about the stories they tell, the ideas they represent and the people who live, work and play among them. Working with communities and specialists we share our passion, knowledge and skills to inspire interest, care and conservation, so everyone can keep enjoying and looking after the history that surrounds us all. We fundraise from individuals, charitable trusts and foundations and public sector bodies to enable us to deliver those aspects of our work that are not funded by our Government grant.