Work has completed on a major redevelopment project at St Mary’s Parish Church, Melton Mowbray, a year after it was closed for its biggest renovation in 200 years.
The Grade I listed church is one of the most notable historic buildings in Leicestershire and is located on a site considered to be of significant archaeological importance, housing remains from the prehistoric to the post-medieval periods.
A popular parish church, St Mary’s plays a central role in community, hosting events such as the British Pie Awards, and the annual Christmas Tree Festival, which attracts more than 16,000 visitors each year.
Buttress was appointed to help the church deliver a major £2 million redevelopment project that would see the church’s facilities improved to allow it to cater for an increasing number of visitors.
The first phase of work included internal and external relevelling, the installation of a new stone floor with underfloor heating to return the floor to its pre-19th century height. A new internal north-west porch and new lighting and audio-visual systems were also installed. The building has also been re-wired and the Sir Malcolm Sargent Memorial Organ – named after the church’s illustrious choirmaster and organist from 1914-24 – has been restored.
A new refreshment facility was also created, intended to support the church’s expansion. Designed so that it can be entirely concealed when not in use, the servery exists within its own self-contained cupboard. As a concealed island unit, it can be wheeled out into the necessary position when required. This concealable, movable unit is intended to have as little physical and aesthetic impact on the interior of the church as possible, while providing a new and desired facility for visitors, worshippers, staff and volunteers.
The changes have helped make the church a more functional and comfortable building for its users, while providing flexible facilities that will help preserve the historic church for future generations.