St Mary’s Church, Beverley, has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Medieval Curious Carvings project.

Made possible by National Lottery players, the project aims to repair and conserve a vulnerable area of the church in which a number of ‘curious carvings’ are housed within the ceiling.

These 14th century Bosses are unique and this project will endeavour to make this beautiful heritage accessible for all to learn about and enjoy.

Development funding of £38,600 has also been awarded to help St Mary’s progress their plans to apply for a full grant at a later date.

The project aims to carry out essential conservation work to repair the stonework and prevent water damage to the ceilings, digitally record the extraordinary carved bosses and develop a wide range of creative activities and events allowing online public access to the collection for the first time.

An educational programme is also planned for adults and children which we hope to start to roll out in 2019. Volunteers will be given training so they can learn new skills, support the activities and help visitors engage with the church’s wonderful art and history.

St Mary’s is widely regarded as a national treasure of architecture and heritage and is home to Lewis Carol’s White Rabbit as well as having extraordinary carved and painted ceilings.

It is also the focal point of much community activity in Beverley and attracts tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world every year.

St Mary's Vicar the Revd Becky Lumley said, “We are thrilled to have received this support from National Lottery players, and are confident that as the project begins people will be delighted to see urgent repairs on the building take place.

“We are looking forward to developing our educational opportunities and our very valuable volunteering opportunities during this project.”

“St Mary’s still needs to raise significant sums of money to repair crumbling stonework… but, thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund, this will hopefully be just the beginning.”

St Mary’s, an extraordinary church which hosts a lively and vibrant community, is perhaps best known for its beautifully painted ceiling depicting not only a map of the heavens above but also the Kings of England dating from 1445.

The artistry and colour of these painted ceilings including the 625 painted bosses continue to delight visitors and tourists alike.