Architecture Awards 2021
Restoration of a Public Building
Winner - St Wilfrid's Church, Barrow upon Trent - St Wilfrid’s Barrow
Architect - Lathams
Main Contractor - H.A.Briddon Ltd ( Building and Construction )
The church of St Wilfrid’s is located in Barrow upon Trent, a small village in South Derbyshire. It is not known exactly how long the church has been standing in the village but latest research suggests it dates back to Anglo Saxon times, and may be 1200 years old.
The Church, at one time, was an outpost for the Knights Hospitallers of St John and has many interesting features both old and new.
In 2014 it was obvious to the Parochial Church Council (PCC) that the future for the church was in the balance financially. Congregations were reducing in size, but expenditure on insurance and running costs was increasing.
The PCC decided to take the building “back to the future” – to make it what it once was in Anglo-Saxon times – a building for the whole parish, and others.
It would not just be a place for worship on a Sunday, but a community hub for the local area, available every day for many and varied activities. By doing this, the PCC hope that the church will become a place that can sustain itself financially, and also become a popular base / location for many different people and organisations to make use of the facilities provided.
Following practical completion in December 2020, the church is now transformed with new heating, lighting and flooring. During the capital works many exciting historical discoveries were made and preserved within the building, including an alabaster effigy set in the south wall of the church.
It is possible that this is the oldest alabseter effigy of a priest in the country. He would appear to be a priest named John de Belton from Crayke, North Yorkshire, who was appointed by the Knights Hospitallers to work in Barrow upon Trent in 1343. The effigy has been beautifully conserved as part of the project.
Judges were very impressed with the sympathetic transformation of this Grade I listed church.
Although the church looks the same externally, inside the building is an ultra-modern open plan space with underfloor heating, stackable chairs and dimmable halo shaped LED lights hanging from the ceiling.
Visitors to the church are also able to find out more about the rich history of the site using a digital trail that can be accessed via mobile phones.
For more information head to: https://stwilfridsbarrow.org
All photo credit: Ian Hodgkinson