Rutland Water provides a scenic setting for the fairy-tale splendour of Normanton Church, a structure that appears to float on the lake when the reservoir is full. Normanton Church is the county of Rutland’s most famous landmark. Yet it could all have been very different.
There was public outcry in 1970 that saved Normanton Church from destruction when plans to flood the area around it were being set in motion. When the demands of a growing population had to be met, consultation took place to decide on a suitable site for a much-needed new reservoir and the Gwash valley in Rutland was chosen.
The valley had to be cleared and so Normanton Church was deconsecrated and scheduled for demolition, but the general public had other ideas and their protests were successful. When it came time to flood the area, it became obvious that the church would be partially submerged once the high-water level was reached. This would mean the gradual erosion of its lower walls and foundations. A hastily formed trust was organised with the aim of rescuing the building from a watery demise and various proposals were considered.
Finally, it was decided that the lower level of the church should be filled with rubble and topped with concrete to create a new floor. This would be approximately 60cm above the water level. The church would become a small island once the reservoir was filled, and so a causeway was built connecting it to the nearby shore of the lake and an embankment was constructed around the building. A layer of boulders was then put in place as a defensive breakwater.
If you like the look of this amazing place do get in contact with the Weddings Co-Ordinators
Jonathan Young and Nicole Maslin
Rutland Water Visitor Centre
Oakham LE15 8QL
Tel. 01780 686800
Nabila & Sam were married here followed by their wedding breakfast at The Barnsdale Hall.