Historic archway of Owston Ferry church damaged in lorry crash

A group gather for a guided tour round St Martin's Church in Owston Ferry before it was damaged
A group gather for a guided tour round St Martin's Church in Owston Ferry before it was damaged

A HISTORIC church archway, which was set for a restoration, has been left severely damaged after a lorry crashed into it.

The vehicle smashed into the stone arch at St Martin’s Church, Owston Ferry, in early November.

Just days before, church members had put an application for £23,000 funding into North Lincolnshire Council to restore the entrance, which dates back to the 1860s.

Scaffolding has now been erected to secure the structure, while it is hoped funding will still come through to allow the restoration to begin next spring.

A church spokesman said: “The crash caused a lot of damage and if the supports weren’t in place it would likely collapse.

“We are waiting to hear back from the council but hopefully restoration work will still go ahead.

“Because it is limestone you have to wait until the spring before doing any work to it.”

The proposed work is part of a wider restoration of the Grade I listed church, which dates back to the 12th century.

New roofing is being installed and the church tower has also been re-pointed.

Work has also been undertaken on the drainage system and certain plinths have been replaced.

The scheme has cost around £280,000, with funding provided through English Heritage, environmental body WREN and church funds.

It is hoped all of the work will be finished in about 12 months time.

Church member Teresa Johnson said: “Quite soon the scaffolding surrounding the church will be dismantled, fully revealing the new roofs which have been installed.

“Work will then be carried out to the interior of the church and to the beautiful stained glass windows. It is a long drawn out process, but it will be worth waiting for.”