Vital work on historic town abbey

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VITAL work is being planned to help fix part of the tower at the historic Crowland Abbey.

Plans have been submitted to South Holland District Council to shore up a tower at the abbey, whose site has a history dating back to the seventh century, with restoration experts saying one of the balustrades is currently unsafe because it is too low.

The project is being backed by a grant from English Heritage and will help stop rust in the masonry and cracks in the stone works which are emerged.

A design and access statement drawn up by Mary Anderson of specialists Anderson and Glenn as part of the plans states: “This is an important building, not only to the small town of Crowland, but on a national scale.

“The repairs being undertaken are vital to the well being of this structure. Water is currently able to get into the masonry via open joints in the parapet gutter. The works to be undertaken will remedy this.”

The report says the work will not affect the appearance of the building.

It adds: “In the overall scale of the Crowland Abbey site this is a small change in appearance.

“Most people looking at the Abbey will be unaware that there is a balustrade on the south side of the tower now, nor will they be after it has been raised.”

Rev Charles Brown said: “The work we plan to do on the Abbey’s tower will involve replacing damaged stonework, especially that on ledges and mouldings, replacing metal railings on the south side of the tower, rebuilding a corner of the parapet; and taking measures to prevent water from getting into the concrete flooring at the top of the tower.

“These are the main works. English Heritage have given us a grant of £85,000 towards the cost of this work, which it is estimated to cost about £154,000. We plan to start the work in the spring of 2012.”

The plans were lodged last week and council planning officers expect a decision to be made by November 22.