The Churches Conservation Trust

  • Heritage,  The Churches Conservation Trust

    2020 Heritage Bike Ride

    The inaugural annual ‘spires and spokes’ heritage bike ride was completed on 26th September 2020. Raising money for The Churches Conservation Trust, Graham and Colin cycled a 75km route around Leicestershire, stopping at several churches of national and international historical significance now owned by the CCT. The ride raised just over £330 for the CCT’s vital conservation work. Our day began with a drive to our starting point at Tickencote. Finding a convenient parking spot outside St. Peter’s we went in to gawp at the incredible 12th-century chancel arch, vaulted roof and font. This was Colin’s first taste of the English Romanesque and it didn’t disappoint. We took lots of…

  • Churches,  Heritage,  Information Technology,  The Churches Conservation Trust

    Knowing the Numbers

    Historic-Church Administration System Posted on 9th December 2019 by Graham W Management information was essential when embarking upon the project to develop Holy Trinity Goodramgate into a world-class visitor attraction, leading to its status as Number 1 attraction in York on TripAdvisor within only a few years. Volunteers working on visitor-welcome duties could record invaluable information about those who came to the church. Volunteers cashed up the donations box daily, registered group visits, discerning between free-flow visitors, guide-led groups (fee-paying or otherwise), educational groups and pre-arranged visits. Retail sales in the small on-site gift-shop were also recorded, stock-control data being maintained by the program. It was invaluable for the accounting and banking of…

  • Churches,  Heritage,  Information Technology,  The Churches Conservation Trust

    A high-tech visitor welcome

    Early in 2018 I was presented with an operational problem. I had been asked to refresh the visitor notices at 107 historic sites in the ownership of The Churches Conservation Trust, no longer needed for services but historically significant and well-visited. Each site needed three separate notices. The first, to be displayed outside each church, advising visitors of opening hours, keyholder location (where the church was not already unlocked) and safety information – for example paths across churchyards can be slippery and uneven etc. The second, advising visitors of other churches within the organisation’s collection, which can be found nearby and the third being a welcome and safety notice to…

  • Churches,  Heritage,  The Churches Conservation Trust

    High ambition and Low-Elswick

    St. Stephen’s tower, Low Elswick, is one of the most overlooked and rarely mentioned buildings in the CCT’s portfolio of historic churches, despite the local and international significance of those who built it. It remains a landmark for those travelling to and from Newcastle city centre towards the A1 and retains a ring of eight bells cast in 1880 by Taylor’s of Loughborough. Designed by local architect, R. J.Johnson, the foundation stone for St. Stephen’s church was laid on 19th November 1866 by Sir William Armstrong. Armstrong’s empire had flourished upon engineering brilliance, he having invented the hydraulic crane and the Armstrong breech-loading gun, both being watershed developments for heavy…

  • Church Monuments,  Churches,  Heritage,  Heritage Crime,  History,  Medieval History,  The Churches Conservation Trust

    The Case of the Cowthorpe Brass

    19th-century metal theft The theft of antiquities from churches isn’t a new problem. On Saturday 9th June 1860, the York Herald reported on such a crime, with the headline, “Sacrilege at Cowthorpe”: “Within the last few days, the Parish Church of Cowthorpe, near Tadcaster, was entered by thieves, and the following property stolen : — A white metal flagon and basin, a pewter plate, and a quantity of brass from off the tomb of Brian Rowclyff, who founded the church in the year 1445. On one of the pieces of brass, a narrow plate, is engraven in Old English characters, a Latin inscription, and upon another brass plate, which is…