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The PCC of Hexham Abbey is celebrating a Cornerstone Grant of £15,000 from National Churches Trust and an additional £6,000 from the Wolfson Foundation. Grants will help to fund essential masonry repairs to the Abbey’s Chancel East End, facing the historic market place.
The church, which has been at the heart of the community since 674AD, has restoration works planned this year. Repairs to the iconic, external face of the Chancel East End will take place following concern about the deteriorating condition of the stonework. The work, which begins in May, includes specialist cleaning of all the masonry, re-pointing of masonry joints, pinning of cracked stones, re-bedding of some masonry units, and replacement of decayed moulded and decorative stones. These works will make the flagged area facing Hexham’s marketplace safe and secure for the community and allow people to enjoy the bi-weekly Farmers’ Market.
Due to ongoing issues and damage to the stonework from pigeon guano, bird deterrent measures will be incorporated into the scheme. Birds of prey nests, located in the eastern pinnacles, will be opened up once the restoration works are completed. Falcons will be flown regularly at the Abbey to deter the pigeons until we can open up our nests for the 2023 nesting season. The long-term goal is to attract our own breeding pair.
Richard Thornton, Chair of Property Committee, said, “The PCC is extremely grateful for the assistance in funding for this project from National Churches Trust and the Wolfson Foundation alongside other grants secured”.