Normanton Church is one of the most iconic churches in the UK. Originally St Matthews church it served as a parish church until the late 1700s. At this time it became part of a large estate owned by the Heathcote Baronets where it was used as their private chapel and mausoleum. In 1920 the family relocated and the church was abandoned. Normanton Church remained abandoned and uncared for until 1964 when renovations were carried out. The nave and chancel were replaced. A tower dating back to the 1400s remained until 1826 when a new one took its place. This new tower is a replica of those seen in St John’s Concert Hall in Smith Square, London. A portico was also added at this time which gave this eye catching building the appearance it has today.
How Normanton Church Was Saved From Demolition
In 1970 it was decided that the area needed a reservoir to support the growing local population. The valley was chosen as the most suitable place and was cleared in preparation for the new reservoir. At this point Normanton Church was deconsecrated and marked for demolition. Thanks to the public outcry and numerous protests it was decided that the church should be saved.
It was soon realised that upon flooding the valley, the church would be partially submerged under water. After much deliberation it was decided that the lower level of the church would be filled with rubble in order to raise the church floor. This created a small island once the valley was flooded so a causeway was built to link the church with the nearby shore. Boulders surround the church to protect it from ripples in the water. This resulted in the fairy-tale like appearance of this iconic landmark.
Today Normanton Church serves as a unique wedding venue and is a delight for wedding photographers and tourists alike. Normanton Church is 2.5 miles away from The Hide at Manton Bay and can be reached by bicycle in around 40 minutes. You can find out more about cycling Rutland Water here https://thehideatmantonbay.co.uk/cycling-rutland-water/
If you would like to learn more about Normanton Church you can visit the official website here https://normantonchurch.wedding/