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Renovate Shenstone’s Old Church Tower
Awarded: £70,170
Region: Central

Friends of Shenstone Tower is a constituted friend’s group and registered charity located in the village of Shenstone, Staffordshire. 

An award of £70,170 from HS2 Funds, along with funding from Historic England, has ensured that the village’s 13th century medieval church tower has been preserved through renovation and the installation of visitor facilities. The tower, which is a Grade II listed building, had holes in the roof, crumbling masonry and invasive vegetation.  The new visitor facilities provide improved access to the tower, as well as better lighting and display information. The improvements have also created both a rooftop viewing platform and accessible viewing for those who cannot access the roof. 32 volunteers have been involved in the project. 

Open for the community

Even before the official opening over 1,000 people had visited the tower, which is open to visitors who can obtain the key from the village library.  There have also been regular advertised guided openings for people and visits from scouts and guides to find out about the history of the tower and the village.

The tower has now been renovated to a very high standard that will protect it for centuries to come.  It has also been taken off Historic England’s Heritage at risk register.

“It was important to the community to save our heritage. The phone call from HS2 Funds was amazing, they offered a grant of £75,000 that completed our fundraising and allowed us to start work on the repairs. I talked to one of the stone masons during the renovation and he said that this 900 year old church tower was within a couple of years of catastrophic masonry collapse which would have been irreparable – HS2 Funds enabled our project to start just in time. I cannot walk down the street without being asked about the tower or complimented on its repair. The tower is iconic for our community who have visited and enjoyed the renovated tower since we reopened in October 2023.”

Jeremy Cotton, Chairman of the Friends of Shenstone Tower Trustees