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Project Value: £800,000
Visitors from Northampton and beyond were treated to an insight into ongoing renovation work and future plans at the Delapre Abbey open days at the weekend.
The 900-year-old site is currently undergoing an extensive renovation as part of a £6.3 million project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which will allow it to open as a public attraction for the first time in its history.
Community engagement officer for the project, Vikki Pearson said: “The event was brilliant, we had a good turnout on both days with a real mixture of people coming along.
“Everyone was really interested in the work that was going on, they were excited by the plans for the future.”
As well as getting the opportunity to look at the outside of the building, visitors donned hard hats and descended into the basement to be given a tour of the vital structural work that has taken place so far.
Skilled local craftsmen were also on hand to demonstrate some of the stone masonry and joinery techniques being used on the project.
Ms Pearson explained that much of the work to this point has been focused on ensuring the necessary structural foundations are in place.
She added: “Work is due to step up from now so hopefully when we have our next open day in September people can come back and really see the difference.”
The project remains on course and is scheduled to be completed and open to the public in September 2016.
Builders have moved on site at Delapre Abbey in Northampton, to start a £6 million project to restore the 900 year old building.
It was a plan that was first discussed decades ago but the amount of work and how much it would cost stopped restoration from going ahead.
However a combination of grants, Heritage Lottery funding and council funding means it’s finally begun.
There will be a dining room for visitors, attached to a new conservatory as well as multi-media displays.
The abbey was built as a nunnery in 1145, and later owned by generations of the Bouverie family – who sold it in 1946.