Tenders invited for Lead Professional for repair of Becket’s Chapel

Norfolk Historic Buildings Trust (NHBT) requests tenders for the role of Lead Professional for the first phase of a planned two phase project to repair the Grade 1 listed Becket’s Chapel in Wymondham, Norfolk. The building has been on Historic England’s At Risk register since 2018.

NHBT is aiming to deliver, in stages, a restored and extended Becket’s Chapel as a multi-functional centre for the town to benefit local people, organisations and visitors. The building will be used for events, community activities, exhibitions, concerts and private hire, as well as the promotion of Wymondham’s rich heritage assets.

NHBT has been awarded a project development grant by the Architectural Heritage Fund to cover the costs of professional fees for phase one.

The Lead Professional’s role is to lead on the project, assemble a team of specialists to survey in detail and assess the building, prepare documents to allow competitive tenders for the consequent restorations and prepare the potential costs of repair, so that NHBT is able to apply for funding to meet the cost of the work. The Trust is already in dialogue with Historic England and will be applying to them, and other funders. Assuming funding is then in place, continue on order to ensure that the work on site is completed to specification.

Lead professionals and members of their teams must each be able to demonstrate deep, relevant and recent experience of similar projects involving highly graded listed buildings.

For full details and tender documents please email secretary@nhbt.org.uk

Deadline for tender submissions 12 noon, 28 June 2021.

29/30 May Waxham Barn Weddings Showcase

Would you like to host your wedding in an historic Norfolk barn near the beach?

Waxham will be fully styled to offer you wedding inspiration, from ceremony to first dance. Come and meet a selection of our creative suppliers and get your bridal goodie bag. And you’ll also be able to put your name into a prize draw to win a beautiful wedding dress.

Viewings are strictly by appointment. Contact Monica, Waxham Barn Events Manager, to book your appointment on 07940 303 396 or at waxhambarnweddings@nhbt.org.uk

Organised by Waxham Barn, styled and sponsored by Smoke and Wildwood / Quirke Events / Array Weddings and Events Hire.

Photographer Richard Jarmy. Bridal and Groomswear from Style and Joy Bridal and Suit Boutique.

Oulton Chapel Open dates 2021

Oulton Chapel is a hidden gem situated just 5 minutes drive away from the Blicking Estate. It’s signposted from the B1354 Blickling Road (heading from Blickling to Saxthorpe).

Built between 1728 and 1731, as a non-conformist chapel, this Grade II* listed building is situated in the heart of the countryside. It retains its box pews and gallery and is a peaceful and magical place to visit.

The chapel will be open on the following dates

Sun 16 May 10am – 4pm
Sun 13 June
Sun 11 July
Sun 8 August
Sat/Sun 11/12 and 18/19 September – Heritage Open Days
Sun 10 October

Waxham Barn now open for wedding viewings

We are happy to announce that Waxham Barn is now open for wedding viewings which will be strictly by appointment only and in line with Covid regulations. 

If you are looking to hire the Barn for your wedding or event, please go to the Waxham Barn Weddings website (link from the menu bar) and complete the form on the home page.

We’ll be running more showcases and wedding fairs at the Barn this year, more details to follow soon.

Becket’s Chapel awarded project development funding

20 March 2020

We’re delighted to announce that NHBT has been awarded a project development grant of £37,940 by the Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) for Becket’s Chapel in Wymondham. This takes the Trust one step closer to saving one of the town’s most important historic assets. We are extremely grateful to the AHF for its continued support for this project following two previous project viability grants.

The Grade 1 listed chapel, which has been on Historic England’s ‘at risk’ register since 2018, is in a poor state of repair and has been deteriorating for a number of years. It is damp and costly to heat. In its current state the chapel has no future and will continue to decline.

Working closely with Wymondham Arts Forum, who use the chapel in the summer months as an arts centre, we have created a 3-stage plan to repair Becket’s Chapel and bring the building back into community use. Stage A will see a comprehensive repair programme completed. This will ensure that the building will not deteriorate further and it can continue be used during warmer months. Stage B will include further enhancements, such as more efficient underfloor heating, some insulation, and upgraded facilities including full disabled access, thus enabling the building to be used year-round. Stage C, the longer term plan, is to build an extension on the south side of the chapel, to include a café, which would improve the economic sustainability of the project.

The AHF project development grant will cover 90% of the costs of professional fees for stage A and B, ​with the remaining 10% being funded from the Trust’s own resources or external fundraising. NHBT will need to raise funds to cover the costs of the repair and upgrade work​ and is currently in dialogue with Historic England with regard to a repair grant.  

Becket’s Chapel stands between the Market Place and Abbey church in Wymondham, at the intersection of three roads. Originally a 12th Century chapel dedicated to St Thomas A Becket, it was closely associated with Robert and William Kett (Kett’s Rebellion) when the chapel was given to the town in the 16th century. Around 1560 the chapel became the home of the Old Grammar School and in more recent years hosted the town library. The library closed in 2008 and the chapel has not had a sustainable use since.

We’re looking for a new treasurer

November 2020

Would you like to join our active Board of Trustees?

We’re looking for someone with a keen interest in the built environment and heritage who would enjoy getting involved in our work to conserve and promote Norfolk’s built heritage.

This is a voluntary role which involves:
– overseeing the Trust’s accounts
– authorising payments
– liaising with the Trust’s secretary and external accountants
– overseeing the administration of staff pensions (we employ 2 part-time staff)
– attending quarterly board meetings and presenting quarterly accounts
– presenting annual accounts at the AGM

There’s also the chance to get involved in non-finance matters such as specific projects or taking an interest in a particular building, should you wish to do so.

A formal accountancy qualification is not essential, but candidates should have a good grasp of financial matters.

If you are interested in the treasurer role please send applications, including a CV, to secretary@nhbt.org.uk

Becket’s Chapel, Wymondham

Becket’s Chapel is a Grade I listed building, with a rich history. It was placed on the national “at risk” register in 2018. The building has been semi-redundant since 2008 when the town library moved to a new, purpose-built building.  The building is suffering from a number of defects, including damp penetration, and has very poor, basic facilities. Lacking in insulation, it is very costly to heat and, as a result, is closed in the winter months, which further exacerbates the damp problems.

NHBT is working with a local community organisation, Wymondham Arts Forum, which uses the building in the summer months as an art gallery, on a project to repair and upgrade the building. This would ensure the long-term future of the chapel as a venue for multi- functional use. NHBT does not have the financial wherewithal to inject substantial funds into this project, so is looking to fundraise with the support of the local community.

We have made two approaches to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for financial support, but unfortunately competition for their diminishing resources is fierce.  We are grateful for the support of the Architectural Heritage Fund and The Geoffrey Watling Charity, who are providing financial support for project viability work. Historic England is also providing practical support, and we are in discussion with them about repair works.