CELEBRATIONS have taken place to mark the restoration of a 13th- century Herefordshire chapel.

The Forbury Chapel in Leominster has undergone extensive renovation to the outside of the building over the last two years.

The Forbury was built in 1284 and has been a staple of the town's community ever since.

Over the years the landmark building has been used as a school, theatre, courthouse, dance school, office a hostel

The restoration project started back in 2016, when a Forbury team began working on a heritage lottery bid.

Money was secured through the Heritage Lottery Fund for places of worship. It was this fund which paid for most of the repairs.

Further funding was secured from the Herefordshire Historic Churches Fund, the Garfield Weston Foundation and the Allchurches Trust.

The Forbury underwent a renovation back in 2003, though that previous project focused mainly on refurbishing the inside of the building.

Groundwork for the recent project began when it became clear that repairs were needed on the outside.

Cath Warren, Forbury project development worker, said there were problems with the building's stonework and buttresses.

She said: "The building was at risk of closure if repairs didn't happen."

Essential work was carried out on replacing crumbling stonework, applying fresh hot lime mortar, ensuring that the drainage was working as it should, removing plants which had grown roots into the structure, and attending to woodwork repairs.

Work began in 2019 and was completed earlier this year.

In addition to the repair and restoration of the Forbury, a small team of research volunteers were recruited to delve into the Forbury's past, and build a clear picture of its changing purposes over the centuries

This research has been used to create heritage interpretation resources inside and outside the building.

The completion of the project was marked with a dinner in the chapel on September 16.

Guests were treated to a film made by re-enactors documenting the medieval heritage of the chapel and talks from those involved in the project.

Geoff Bricknell, a Forbury trustee, said "The works carried out are almost nothing when put into the context of an 800-year history.

"We thank you all for supporting this project and allowing the Forbury chapel to be a useful community building in the coming years."

Mrs Warren said: "It's been a privilege to be involved in such a project.

"It's been a voyage of discovery and it's great to be able to share the history of the Forbury".