Old St Helen’s church in Hastings gets conservation grant

The Old St Helen’s church at Ore, Hastings is set to be protected thanks to a £470,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Abandoned in 1869, the church was acquired by the Sussex Heritage Trust in 1991.

Old St Helen's church at Ore, Hastings - Pic HLF

Old St Helen's church at Ore, Hastings - Pic HLF

The Trust hopes it will now be able to proceed with the conservation of the Grade II listed building.

Christopher Gebbie, the Chairman of Sussex Heritage Trust, added: “This project represents the last opportunity to save this important monument for future generations.”

The project aims to safeguard  one of the oldest buildings in Hastings dating back to the 11th century.

Together with its surrounding 18th century churchyard, the site is considered to be locally and nationally significant with regard to Saxon and early Norman archaeological remains.

Containing some 80 tombs and undisturbed medieval foundations, the site is on the English Heritage ‘At Risk’ register and a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Consolidation of the fabric of the remaining stonework to ensure long-term stability for the ruins and conserve the churchyard and its contents is one of the priorities for the team

A community archaeology project, new historical and ecological interpretation, and programmes for other local interest groups will now take place on site.

The Heritage Lottery fund grant to the Old St Helens Church Conservation Project is for 94% of the project cost.

A public exhibition of the plans for the Project will take place on Thursday 21st July from 7 to 8.30 pm at St Helen’s Church Hall, The Ridge, Hastings TN34 2RA.

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