EH and saxon tower

Christopher POVEY cmpovey at 3...
Thu Mar 13 23:04:41 GMT 2003

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Regarding the question from David Bryant about what 'trouble' might arise f=
rom English Heritage when dealing with a proposal to lower a ring of bells =
in a Saxon tower, I think EH would want to be fully assured that the propos=
al was necessary and that benefits to the tower would result. I doubt wheth=
er they would be happy to have pockets cut for no good reason. If there is =
evidence that the tower is suffering with the bells at high level and that =
lowering is the correct solution, then I would guess that they would be pre=
pared to work to a solution along those lines. EH works from the baseline t=
hat everything should be preserved in its existing state and then they move=
towards altering the status quo after considering the validity of the reas=
ons for making such alterations.

The quickest and and best way to find out is to ask them! They have to be i=
nvolved where there are proposals to alter a listed building (and most chur=
ches are listed). It is useless to try to exclude them. EH is a designated =
consultee in the faculty process and no diocesan chancellor would consider =
a faculty petition without comments from EH. The advice from EH, DACs and t=
he CCCBR is to involve EH at an early stage in proposals for bellwork that =
will make changes. There have been many instances where proposals for work =
to bells and towers are firmed up with no EH input; and sadly such instance=
s continue. I say 'sadly', because the crunch comes when EH becomes involve=
d at a late stage. People's attitudes tend not to be at their happiest when=
one party sees a 'remote governmental body' being 'forced' on them and the=
other party sees somebody actively trying to exclude them. The bigger crun=
ch comes when EH cannot support what is being proposed and this renders mos=
t of what has been done useless. Clearly, this method of working is best av=

Chris Povey
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