Nurturing the Old and the New

This is a three year project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, to help maintain Thistleton Church for public benefit. The title of the project reflects the aim of generating interest in the history and heritage of the church and surrounding area to give new life to the building and protect it for future generations. 

Building repairs

In the first stage of the project, the church building underwent repairs and some internal development.  The Collyweston roof of the nave and vestry was reslated to protect the entire fabric of the church.  Internally, the wooden pew platforms had rotted due to historic water ingress.  These were removed and the exposed floor areas were laid to stone with the benefit that this levelled the floor throughout the nave.  Energy efficient electric central heating was installed to protect the building from damp and make it a more comfortable environment.  

Community involvement

Before and during the repair stage,  the local community was encouraged to learn about the building, the fabric and contents, and the techniques involved in repair and renovation. Using traditional methods, volunteers deep cleaned the original Victorian paved floor, woodwork and decorative metalwork.

Other volunteers are finding out more about the history and heritage of the church, Thistleton and the surrounding area.


Historical research

The project  has identified seven heritage themes:

  • the history of the building, describing the fabric and contents of the church. 
  • the churchyard: uncovering and clearing gravestones, listing and researching who is buried there.    
  • the history of Roman settlements in the area and describing this period of history.
  • Iron Age settlements around Thistleton and describing the Iron Age
  • any Viking activity in the surrounding area and describing the Viking period in England.
  • notable events and people 
  • the social history of Thistleton: how the village has changed over the centuries, how people lived and worked, social mobility.

Displays and exhibitions

The results off our research are shared with the public through an ongoing programme of displays and exhibitions. 

Talks and educational activities

Interest in heritage will be encouraged through a programme of talks and educational activities.

We welcome enquiries for group visits. 

Sharing our experiences

It's a challenge to maintain a historic building and energise an army of volunteers to fundraise and carry out tasks .  We don't pretend to be experts but we are happy to share our experiences with other groups.