AN ICONIC Herefordshire church is set for a boost in order to safeguard its future.

Priory Church of St Peter and St Paul, in Leominster, is a grade I-listed building of great historical importance to the town and region, according to Diocese of Hereford.

The present church was part of a monastery established in 1123, which served as a parish church for the town that grew up around it.

After the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century, the area occupied by the monks was demolished, leaving the distinctive square shaped church that survives today.


Restoration work was carried out between 1860 and 1880 under the direction of Sir Gilbert Scott.

This work included the reduction in size of the Norman columns between the main nave and the south aisle and the upgrading of the Norman nave.

But now, Leominster Priory is suffering from water ingress between the main nave and Noman nave that is causing deterioration in the timbers below.

It is to share in a £421,000 urgent funding pay-out from the National Churches Trust.


A £3,000 National Churches Trust Gateway Grant will help to pay for vital roof repairs.

The church also received a £10,000 Wolfson Fabric Repair Grant from the Wolfson Foundation on the recommendation of the National Churches Trust to help fund the work.

These grants mean the valley gutter between the two roofs can be replaced.

Churchwardens Helen Bricknell and Ken Roberts said the grants mean the church can instruct contractors to proceed with the vital work of protecting the "beloved" priory.

"As guardians of this magnificent building, we realise the importance of ensuring that it remains in good condition for the community of Leominster and the generations to come," they said.

Broadcaster and journalist Huw Edwards, vice president of the National Churches Trust, said he is delighted to see the urgent works will be completed this Christmas.

"This will safeguard unique local heritage and keep the church open and in use for the benefit of local people," he said.