This web-site is set up to draw together a variety of on-line resources
and links relevant to the work of St. Marys Church and especially
those activities which have arisen from the 'Raise the Roof' campaign
and the subsequent follow-up activities
Visitors and residents will
all be familiar with the view of Cropredy, nestling in the valley, the
church tower at its centre, which greets them when returning from their
travels both near and far. It never fails to lift the spirits at the
thought that this wonderful place is home, even if it’s just for a
has sat at the heart of the village, and both church and village have a
long and rich history. Many residents past and present will have
memories of major family events which have happened here. Visitors
return again and again, drawn to the village by the Festival, the Civil
War links, canal travel; always finding time to visit and enjoy
St. Mary’s so the news that the Church of St. Mary the Virgin was a building at risk was of great concern to all.
An inspection carried out by our church architect
identified serious problems with the ancient lead roof. These had led to water penetration under extreme conditions, and the
situation was only getting worse if not dealt with it would have lead to damage to our
fine medieval timber roof, unique interior features and ultimately the
stonework itself. St Mary’s Church Cropredy, is a Grade I listed building,
which has been in continuous use for worship for centuries.
The need to carry out a complete
re-roofing of St. Mary’s, and repair and replace some of the rainwater
drains in line
with English Heritage specifications resulted in costs well beyond the means of existing church
funds. We were delighted, therefore, to receive a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund,
however, this did not cover the whole cost of the project. To meet
Heritage Lottery Fund requirements we also carried out some work to
improve amenities in the church thereby extending the range of
activities we can host there. This continues to be complemented by a programme
of activities to bring together all ages and groups from across the community.
Click on the images below...
||A major part of the community engagement with the project was the
excavation of two trenches through the churchyard so that water pipes
could be laid. Work was also done to record details of medieval timber
roof. This 'dig diary' records what happened with the archaeology as
well as much of the building work that went on.
|The 'Doom' Painting. Not
every church has one and ours is important. You read about how we were
able to access it and see the summary of the detailed technical report
we had written for us.
Feast of St. Fremond. Not every church has its own Saxon saint but we
have important connections with his legend and its likely that his
relics were (maybe some still are) buried in Cropredy. Each year we
celebrate his life, even if it was a legendary one, with a special
service as close to May 14th., his feast day, as we can manage then
every other year we hold a promenade performance of a play in verse
about his life accompanied by a small medieval fair to get everyone in
the mood. You can read the legend here.
|During the course of the work
the opportunity was taken to improve out understanding on the natural
environment associated with the churchyard. much of this has concentrated on bats but we have swift friendly plans too.
|The contractor for the work on
the church was the Leicester based firm of Norman and Underwood. We
were able to organize a parish outing to watch our lead being melted
down and recast before returning to Cropredy.
is a small all but deserted hamlet just to the north of Cropredy and we
believe that it played an important part if the early development of a
Christian community in the area. You can read about some early
archaeological investigations into the site that took place back in
1997. More is planned for the future.
of Cropredy Bridge fought in 1644 as part of the English Civil war is
well known. Less well known is the very curious collections of relics
in Cropredy Church said to have been found on the battlefield. One of
the early tasks that our archaeologist undertook was an analysis of
these remains. What he discovered was a little surprising. We plan to
display the weapons together with the suit of replica armour we were
given to replace the original one that was stolen.
||Polyolbion Archaeology gave its services for free, you can read more
about the other work it does and follow a link to another HLF church
project at Wormleighton.
|Ten Questions about the Archaeology of Cropredy
the ways in which we have tried to establish a context for the work on
the church was by having discussions with the members of the Cropredy
Historical Society. An early meeting to kick start the process was
based on the idea of a few outstanding questions about the village and
how we could go about answering them.
||Here is a link to Cropredy's very own village web-site