Tomb costs church toilets project another £10,000

Work is well underway on the new toilet block at Sidmouth Parish Church. Pictured by the new build a

Work is well underway on the new toilet block at Sidmouth Parish Church. Pictured by the new build are Rev Philip Bourne, Philip Hughes, Martyn Bagwell, John Scott, Michael Robertson. Ref shs 3791-45-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

The foundations have been laid and work on a new toilet block is forging ahead – although parish church leaders will need another £10,000 after builders discovered a tomb.

Trial pits had not uncovered anything, but Bagwells hit upon a 200-year-old burial site when they dug a little deeper.

The church architect worked with engineers, archaeologists and contractors to build over it and, weather-permitting, the work could be still completed by Easter.

Churchwarden Brian Golding said: “Of course, these complications have resulted in a delay to the building schedule and additional costs.

“As a result, the appeal for funding has been reopened to raise the additional £10,000 that will be needed to complete the project.”

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Church leaders did some research, but could not find out with any certainty who was buried under the 155-year-old building’s northwest corner, or when they were placed there.

After raising more than £150,000 in just a year, they are pressing ahead with a project they hope will benefit members of the congregation and the wider public.

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The six new toilets are being built with masonry to closely match the Salcombe stone of the rest of the church, which is no longer available.

The builders will make use of a traditional lime mortar, but will have to wait until after the frost to apply it.

Donation envelopes are available in the west entrance to the church and can be posted through the vestry letter box.

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