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Hockerton church mentioned in the Domesday Book to be transformed into art studio

A 12th century church, listed as a high priority by Historic England, is being transformed.

St Nicholas’ Church, Hockerton, is considered to be at immediate risk of further rapid deterioration on the heritage at risk register.

It is a grade II listed building, with a chancel, nave, south porch and tower built between the 12th and 14th centuries, later restored by Hodgson Fowler in 1876.

St Nicholas' Church, Hockerton
St Nicholas' Church, Hockerton

The church was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 and has Norman features.

A solution for the repair and maintenance of the church has been agreed, including a new use for the site.

St Nicholas' Church, Hockerton
St Nicholas' Church, Hockerton

Planning permission has been granted to artist Ingrid Pears to change the use of the building into a glass blowing studio with a mezzanine office, under conditions including the recording of archaeological features prior to development.

Ingrid said: “We had an archaeological dig as per the planning application due to ground works for water and electricity.

“Artefacts found during the dig have been sent to the University of Sheffield.”

The archaeological work has now been completed.

Historic England declared the church to be in very bad condition with historic, and possibly ongoing, movement evident in the stonework and loose and missing roof tiles.

The Nottinghamshire County Council heritage team also surveyed the building and found the guttering to be damaged and full of vegetation.

It also found stone erosion, and an overgrowth of vegetation on the north side causing the walls to be covered in algae and ivy.

The overgrowth has since been cleared, and repairs have been made to the roof and church building.

Glass-blower Ingrid Pears currently works in a studio at Thoresby courtyard, and plans to convert the church into her flagship studio.

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