Hopton St Margarets Ruined Church

Hopton Ruined Church is a grade II* listed building on the English Heritage at risk register, the building is a 13th century medieval church destroyed by fire in 1865.

St Margaret’s Church in Coast Road (also known as Hopton Ruined Church) burned down in 1865 and was replaced by the existing church of the same name, on Lowestoft Road. The crumbling grade II*-listed ruin appears on the English Heritage buildings at risk register and is surrounded by a security fence because it has been declared a dangerous structure.

The ruin is at the centre of the village and acts as a visual marker and physical connection with the village origins and heritage. The flint, brick and stone structure is increasingly fragile and at risk of erosion and loss and has reached a tipping point of accelerated deterioration and without intervention will be lost.

The Parish Council concerned about its condition and fearful of its loss purchased the ruin from the Church of England in 2009. Great Yarmouth Preservation are working in partnership with the Parish Council and have successful bid for funding and will deliver a project to repair and consolidate the structure and to provide training and engagement activities.

In September 2011, Andy Phelps wrote a historical building survey.

Icon Andy Phelps Report (1.9 MB)

The work started in April 2014 with trainees learning how to repair and consolidate flint walls. The main issues found on the building were vegitation growth inside the wall, as well as the mortar deteriorating over the years, causing flints to become loose and unsafe for the public. The trainees had to learn how to safely remove the vegitation, dismantle and rebuild parts of the walls and repointing the work had been done.

Students doing Basic Construction from Great Yarmouth College done some work experience at Hopton, where they learned how to work with traditional building materials, in contrast to what they learn in college. The students chosen were selected because they could be trusted to work in a hazardous environment, and also because they would sometimes be working from heights, so only students who were shown to be safety conscious were allowed.

The work was finished in 2016, with the garden being open to the public in October 2016, and the ruins being open in April 2017.

After the work was finished, the building was successfully removed from the buildings at risk register. 

Press Release July 2015
Surveying and Recording
Hopton - Volunteers Surveying Image

Volunteers were given on site formal training in surveying and recording methods to carry out measured surveys and recordings from which technical drawings of the site could be recorded. Led by Ian Hardy, trained Architect and Conservation Officer at Great Yarmouth Borough Council and supported by Project Manager, Franziska Callaghan and Project Co-ordinator, Rachel Harrison. Click for more information

Conservation Training
consolidation commences Image

Conservation Training continues in 2015. Volunteers are given on site training in the use of lime mortar to carry out repairs. Professional conservators and Stonemasons will be on hand to guide the volunteers through the consolidation process. Click for more information

Archaeological Dig
Hopton Progress 54 Image

Led by Giles Emery from Norvic Archaeology a community archaeology dig took place allowing volunteers come and take part in discovering the ruins original footprint and locating the Sayers Tomb steps and vault. Click for more information

Tower Works
Hopton Site Survey - February 2014 Image

Works to the Tower started with a structural survey carried out February 2014. A year on and the work has been through the tender process and the contract awarded to Medieval Masonry Ltd. We look forward to having them on site and seeing the Tower works progress. Click for more information

Traditional Building Skills
Peter Minters Visit Image

Flintknapping with John Lord during our Heritage Open Days Event Click for more information

Heritage Open Days
Hopton heritage open day 2014 Image

Hopton Ruined Church (Old St. Margarets) will be open for three days for the Heritage Open Days 2015. We will have different events on each day along with which we will have displays about the project and church and an exhibition of work from the Hopton Village History Group. Volunteers will be on hand for questions. You may also see a few Medieval locals roaming around .... Click for more information

Other Events
Hopton Fundraising Stall Image

Other events and activities connected to the project: Sunday 19th July 2015 - Hopton Village Fete and Carnival Wednesday 29th July 2015 - Exhibiting at the Time and Tide Museum, Great Yarmouth Sunday 30th August 2015 - Medieval Fayre - Hopton-on-Sea, on the School Field. Friday 11th, Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th September - Heritage Open Days Click for more information

project funded by:-