Page last updated at 08:55 GMT, Monday, 21 September 2009 09:55 UK

Beam above Bard's grave 'rotting'

Holy Trinity Church
Extensive work is being carried out at the church

A wooden beam holding up the roof directly above William Shakespeare's grave is rotting away and urgently needs repairs costing about £50,000.

Parts of the beam at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon started to crumble when workmen carrying out other repairs went on to the roof.

The church is visited by thousands of people every year.

Rev Martin Gorick said the church was open but the beam was in a "perilous" state and appealed for funds.

The beam is the main beam of the church's chancel roof.

"We are doing a huge phased set of restoration works," he said.

"We have already raised £750,000 and spent that on three enormous projects here.

"For the £50,000 we need we are looking to our friends, friends we know and friends we don't yet know, to help."

A donation website has been set up.

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, which is close to the church, is currently undergoing a rebuild at an estimated cost of £100m, and should be completed next year.


Nick Higham reports on the campaign to repair Shakespeare's burial site

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