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Hopton Ruined Church relieved of railings as councillor steps in to remove them

PUBLISHED: 17:17 18 December 2017 | UPDATED: 17:17 18 December 2017

Hopton Ruined Church after its metal fencing was removed. Left to right: Andy Grant, Graham Mills, John Tonks, Carl Annison, Chris Garratt, Ian Constable and Gary Smith. Picture: David Hannant

Hopton Ruined Church after its metal fencing was removed. Left to right: Andy Grant, Graham Mills, John Tonks, Carl Annison, Chris Garratt, Ian Constable and Gary Smith. Picture: David Hannant

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A ruined church is back to its most picturesque and accessible after metal railings surrounding it were removed.

Great Yarmouth borough councillors Andy Grant and Carl Annison admiring Hopton Ruined Church. Picture: David Hannant`Great Yarmouth borough councillors Andy Grant and Carl Annison admiring Hopton Ruined Church. Picture: David Hannant`

Hopton’s ruined church, which stands on Coast Road, was stabilised months ago in a lottery-funded project - however metal fencing was placed around the perimeter.

While the church provides a stunning sight, the fencing around the Grade II* listen structure gave the impression there was still more to do and it was not open to the public.

At a recent parish council meeting, the issue was discussed, with borough councillor Carl Annison agreeing to step forward and solve the problem.

Mr Annison, who has a paving and groundworks company, said: “When I attended the meeting, I realised it was something I could do at no great expense and that would make a big difference, so I agreed to get it done.

Great Yarmouth borough councillors Carl Annison and Andy Grant at Hopton Ruined Church. Picture: David HannantGreat Yarmouth borough councillors Carl Annison and Andy Grant at Hopton Ruined Church. Picture: David Hannant

“It has been open since April but I think people saw the railings and thought it was still closed.”

It is now hoped the church can now provide a tranquil place for peaceful reflection, to be used by the village’s community as a whole.

Mr Annison added: “I think this will be fantastic for the community and I’m pleased the railings are now down.

“The very reason I wanted to become a councillor was to help people and make a difference in the community and hopefully this has gone towards this.”

Mr Annison and a team of volunteers worked for around three hours on Monday morning to take down the fencing, with East Coast Waste agreeing to dispose them free of charge.

“It was a real team effort,” Mr Annison added. “Our thanks goes to East Coast Waste for agreeing to help without charge.

“This was something we have wanted to do for quite some time, so I am glad to have it done.”

The site was officially re-opened to the public on April 25, with the Rt Rev Graham James, Bishop of Norwich giving it is blessing.

The church, which was built between 1189 and 1250, was ravaged by fire in 1865. It is also known as St Margaret’s Church.

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