Historic Bottom Church in Dudley to under go £280k revamp

An historic Dudley church which dates back to the Norman era will be revamped under £280,000 plans.

Bottom Church on Castle Street will have its tower repaired while a new kitchen and toilet will be installed.

It will mean the church will close while work takes place, although Wednesday and Sunday services will continue.

The church, officially known as St Edmund King and Martyr, dates back to 1190 in record books however the current building was erected in 1724, after being rebuilt.

Historic England currently lists the church on its 'risk register'.

The project is being funded largely by the Heritage Lottery Fund while The Wolfson Foundation and the Garfield Weston Foundation have contributed to costs.

Church treasuer Jon Harcourt said: “We’re delighted that after a great deal of hard work, our lovely church will be restored to its former glory.

"It’s been on Heritage England’s ‘at risk register’ for some time due to the poor state of the tower roof, damaged stone work, brickwork, failed pointing and broken rainwater goods.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for repairs to be made and for the community to get involved in the church to help provide a place where the history of this part of Dudley can be enjoyed."

The revamp will also see a historical display made highlighting the church's past.

It is believed the site could date back from the late ninth century as it is named after Anglo-Saxon King Edmund.

It was demolished in 1646 during the English Civil War on the orders of a colonel but rebuilt 60 years later.

Today it stands as a place of worship and also a place for the community to use.

Director of HLF West Midlands Vanessa Harbar said: "We have been delighted to support St Edmund King and Martyr to carry out urgent repairs and engage new audiences with this much-loved local landmark.

"Thank you to the National Lottery players who have made it possible."

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