New view of historic King’s Lynn chapel as £2.3 million revamp continues

St Nicholas Chapel, building work progress King's Lynn'LtoR, Nick Trend, Nick Balaam, Michael Rimmer, Sandy Heslop, Sarah Cassell ANL-141115-090825009
St Nicholas Chapel, building work progress King's Lynn'LtoR, Nick Trend, Nick Balaam, Michael Rimmer, Sandy Heslop, Sarah Cassell ANL-141115-090825009
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Here is the view from inside one of Lynn’s most historic buildings, though it probably is not as you might have remembered it.

That’s because St Nicholas Chapel is now full of scaffolding as work on a £2.3 million project to preserve and adapt the building into a modern community hub continues.

And local people are to be given the chance to take a close look at the work during a series of tours and open events which will begin next month.

Contractors first moved on to the site in August after the campaigners reached their target of raising £210,000 towards the cost of the project, which then secured a Heritage Lottery Fund for the remainder.

Since then, joinery and masonry repairs have been undertaken, while archaeological work in the tower has uncovered a foundation thought to date back to around 1200. Officials say the discovery has been recorded and will contribute to knowledge of the site’s history.

Peter Aiers, south-east regional director of the Churches Conservation Trust, which owns the chapel and is overseeing the project, said the scaffolding was needed to enable repairs to the angel ceiling to be made.

He said: “This project is an excellent example of how a valuable part of our heritage can be transformed into a community resource for the 21st century.

“We have received great support from the Friends of St Nicholas’ and we are thrilled we are now able to carry out urgent conservation work and install new facilities to ensure the future of this building.”

The project to renovate the chapel and install new heating, lighting and toilet facilities is expected to be completed by May of next year with a grand opening planned for July 2015.

As part of the project, the trust is also running a training programme to enable people to see the skills needed to restore such an historic building for themselves.

Tours of the chapel site will take place on Monday December 15 and Monday February 3, for which places must be booked in advance by emailing southeast@thecct.org.uk.

And two drop-in open events will be held on Tuesday January 20 and Thursday January 22, both between 10am and 1pm, for people to see the stonemasons at work.