£150,000 Lyme church tower restoration set to start

St Michael's Church at Lyme Regis. Picture Robert Wheeler

St Michael's Church at Lyme Regis. Picture Robert Wheeler - Credit: Archant

Work on the restoration of one of the most historic church towers in the country will soon begin thanks to a financial boost from Lyme Regis Town Council.

The authority has pledged a grant of £40,000 towards the project at St Michael's which, subject to PCC, approval will begin in September.

The estimated cost to repair water damage to the Saxon tower is around £150,000. More world record tolls than at any other parish tower around the globe have taken place in Lyme's belfry, with its peal of 10 bells.

Ringing master Andrew Nicholson said: "No fewer than 16 world ringing records have been set here since 1987, and it is important that we do all we can as soon as possible to carry out the refurbishment of the tower before the damp spreads and threatens other areas of the church."

The bells of St Michael the Archangel were pealed to mark the resort's remarkable Siege of Lyme victory in 1644, a celebratory gesture echoed by churches all over the country.

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Local fundraising, spearheaded by former Lyme mayor Michaela Ellis, began 18 months ago.

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