Northamptonshire church’s makeover finally complete after renovations held up by skeletons in porch!

St Mary’s Church, located in the quiet town of Badby, Northamptonshire, has finally completed its major renovation project, after being derailed by delays due to skeletons being found in the church porch.

The Grade II* listed church, which was built in the 14th century, commenced a project in 2015 to create a more versatile space. Aswell as update a heating system, create better storm drainage and improve accessibility to the building. It was this final stage of developments that led to the unearthing of eight skeletons.

The surprising discovery happened during the removal of deep porch floor slabs; a process needed to make way for a sloping entrance path that would help wheelchairs and buggies to access the church more easily. Deemed to be of interest by archaeologists, two of the skeletons were removed from the site for scientific investigation.

Although extra costs were budgeted for in the event of archaeological findings, the discovery of the skeletons led to a funding shortfall of more than £5000. It also delayed the rural church’s renovation project by six weeks.

After sensitive conservation, the practical completion certificate for the project was issued on 29 May, 2018 and the church has now undergone a total transformation. Work was carried out to replace rotting floors caused by bad ventilation - a result of works done in the 1960s.

Pews were removed to create a large, flexible floor space and the font relocated so it no longer obstructed the entrance area. A 60-year-old electrical heating installation, which no longer met regulations and proved a hazard to children, has also been replaced.

Allchurches Trust issued a £2000 grant towards the project in 2015 and has just issued another of £1000 to help towards costs arising from the unexpected circumstances!


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