�15,000 grant is such a surprise

A conservation project at one of Norfolk's most historic churches was given a surprise boost when a �15,000 cheque arrived from a long-forgotten funding application.

A conservation project at one of Norfolk's most historic churches was given a surprise boost when a �15,000 cheque arrived from a long-forgotten funding application.

The team working on the Binham Priory Access and Conservation Project applied for the grant from a national charity two years ago, but assumed it had been unsuccessful when they heard nothing further.

But the money duly arrived after a delay caused by the merger of the Historic Churches Preservation Trust with the Incorporated Church Building Society into a new body responsible for the care of religious buildings - the National Churches Trust.

The money will be used as part of a �900,000 scheme nearing completion to improve public access and build displays telling the eventful history of the Norman priory.


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Pauline Scott, who has been involved with the project for five years said: 'I had given up thinking about this application as we had not received any money in two years since the original application.

'But it turns out that two charities were amalgamating and so there was a year when no grants were paid out.

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'When I opened the envelope and found an award of �15,000 from the National Churches Trust it was a bit like a second Christmas - it was wonderful.'

The church at Binham is the knave of a monastic priory, surrounded by the remains of a larger building founded at the beginning of the 12th century.

A joint conservation project with the Norfolk Archaeological Trust has benefited from �648,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and contributions from English Heritage, businesses and private donations.

The money will pay for a display area to show medieval artefacts found in the monastic precincts in the 1930s, information panels depicting the historical and religious changes at the site, guided tours, new pathways and a new entrance through the north porch.

Planning for the improvements began six years ago and the work is expected to be completed in early March.

For more information, contact project manager David Frost on 01328 830362.

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