St Ives Church, a cherished cornerstone of the Leadgate community, is at a critical crossroads. Despite the recent setback in securing funding from The Heritage Lottery for essential repairs, there is a robust plan in place, poised to preserve and revitalise this historic structure. The community is warmly invited to engage in this transformative project.

Architectural Heritage and Community Transformation of St Ives, Leadgate

St Ives Church is a testament to the architectural legacy of Charles Hodgson Fowler (2 March 1840 – 14 December 1910) a prolific English ecclesiastical architect who specialised in building and, especially, restoring churches), completed in 1868. Constructed from local sandstone and topped with Welsh slate, the church features an aisled (north and south) nave with a south porch and a chancel with a south aisle. Its architectural style is a plain nineteenth-century reinterpretation of medieval Early English, a style favoured by Fowler. This is evident in its cusped lancet windows, circular windows with plate tracery in the clerestories and the west gable, and simple chamfers in the arcades.

The churchyard, now closed, is expansive and houses many headstones, including 14 Commonwealth war graves, marking it as a place of significant local heritage and remembrance. Leadgate itself, perched at 731 feet above sea level, is situated in the northwest corner of County Durham on the historic Roman Road, Dere Street. The village experienced significant growth due to the thriving steelworks in nearby Consett and the numerous local coal mines. However, since the closure of these industries in 1980, Leadgate has transformed. The village now has a character shaped by different employment opportunities and more affordable housing, making it a commuter hub for nearby Tyneside and Durham City.

Community Consultation Event

A Public Meeting will be held at the Leadgate Working Men’s Club on Thursday, 23rd May at 7 pm. This event will outline a comprehensive strategy for St Ives, detailing short, medium, and long-term goals. Community input and support are vital for the project’s progression.

Open Day: Explore the Future Plans

An Open Day is scheduled for Saturday, 25th May from 10 am to 4 pm at St Ives Church. Attendees will have the opportunity to discover the exciting plans to convert the church into a sustainable Community Hub for Local Heritage, Arts, and Education.

St Ives Church, Leadgate, featured May 2024 Consett Magazine: Read digital edition

Ways to Contribute

This initiative is more than a restoration effort; it is a chance to ensure that St Ives can serve future generations as a centre of community activity and learning. Support can be shown in numerous ways, including volunteering, advocating, and offering ideas.

The community’s involvement is crucial in securing St Ives’ role as the vibrant heart of Leadgate. The organisers look forward to welcoming community members to these events, eager to embark on this promising journey together.

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Barry Kirkham
Barry likes to write about science and technology. If you've got an idea for a story, please visit the submit content page.



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