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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 May 2006, 05:39 GMT 06:39 UK
Lottery grant preserves paintings
One of the 11th Century wall paintings
One of the 11th Century wall paintings in the restored church
Almost 200,000 of Heritage Lottery money will help preserve 11th Century wall paintings in a Norfolk church.

The paintings at St Mary's Church at Houghton-on-the-Hill show the image of God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost, which is the earliest known example of its type.

The 192,000 grant will pay for more improvements at the church, which was restored in the 1990s under a Norfolk County Council scheme.

The wall paintings were partially uncovered as part of that scheme.

These wonderful wall paintings really deserve to be saved for future generations to enjoy
Robyn Llewellyn, Heritage Lottery Fund manager

The latest work on the church will allow St Mary's to open regularly, with interpretation on site telling visitors all about the wall paintings, the history of the church and the deserted medieval village.

Norfolk County Council will also provide 4,000 towards the work and the Council for the Care of Churches will give 6,000.

Villager Bob Davey has also worked hard to raise 130,000 to make the church weather-tight by re-instating all the windows, re-laying the floor, and carrying out other repairs.

St Mary's Church, Houghton-on-the-Hill
The painting were found when the church was restored in the 1990s

County councillor Ian Monson said: "It is fantastic news that we have been able to help secure this large amount of funding which will enable further work to take place to safeguard the future of these important paintings at St Mary's.

"This funding will also allow the church to open regularly for visitors and will help educate them on the history of the church and the importance of the paintings found within.

"I know the church and all the local people involved well and recognise the hard work that the local community has also put into St Mary's."

Robyn Llewellyn, Heritage Lottery Fund manager in the East of England, said: "We are delighted that St Mary's Church has received this vital funding.

"Places of worship are central to the identity of so many people in Norfolk, and these wonderful wall paintings really deserve to be saved for future generations to enjoy."




SEE ALSO:
Church mission almost at an end
12 Aug 04 |  Norfolk


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