Adlingfleet Medieval Rectory, Yorkshire

Imaginative owners have saved a derelict Grade II* building, transformed it into a useful community resource and learned traditional skills so that they can keep the walls of the rectory in good condition for years to come. 

Where: Adlingfleet near Goole, Yorkshire

Years on register: 1998 - 2014 

Built by John Le Francis, King's councillor and rector

Adlingfleet Medieval Rectory is listed Grade II*, a Scheduled Monument and located within a Conservation Area. Despite this it had fallen into disrepair in the 1970s and was included on the original Buildings at Risk Register in 1998.

It originally stood alongside the east bank of the old River Don and was probably part of a medieval domestic rectory complex, possibly arranged around a courtyard. It has been identified as the chamber built by John le Franceys, rector of Adlingfleet and king’s councillor, who, in the mid-13th century demolished Whitgift church and “scattering the stones of the sanctuary, caused them to be carried away to Adlingfleet and built a chamber for himself."

It was used as an agricultural building from the 18th century onwards and was in use as a stable/barn in the 19th century with a lean-to structure attached to the south wall which was used by a local blacksmith.

Derelict for 20 years

It had been derelict for 20 years when the current owners bought it, along with the adjacent dwelling, in the 1990s. Their first priority was the main house but once they had made the house their home they turned their attention to the medieval rectory in their garden and approached Historic England for help and advice to repair it.

Exterior photograph showing the partially collapsed medieval rectory before repair.
Grade II* Adlingfleet Medieval Rectory was repaired and brought back into use in 2014 © Historic England P1010428

New owners find funding and learn new skills

We awarded grant funding to help towards the cost of rebuilding the collapsed walls, putting the roof back on, installing doors and windows and constructing new floors. The finished building was officially opened at a village party in 2014.

Since completing the grant-funded works the owners have continued to work enthusiastically to enhance the site. They have set up a Heritage Partnership Agreement with Historic England and with help from another local resident, they have laid drainage to a soakaway and have reconstructed the 18th century floor using bricks and river-cobbles found on site. They have also created a medieval garden around the rectory.

Throughout the works the owners were keen to learn about traditional construction methods and while the repairs were in progress they often worked alongside the specialist contractor to learn new skills. They can now mix and use lime mortar so that they can keep the walls of the rectory in good condition for years to come.

Interior photograph showing the repaired floor.
The owners learned new conservation skills and carried out some of the repairs to their building. © Historic England

How we made a difference

We were able to guide the owners through the construction and consent processes and now they can confidently look after their building.

Working with the Hardings to bring this building back into use was a joy. Their enthusiasm throughout the project and their desire to learn more about their building was inspirational.

Zoe Kemp, Heritage at Risk Surveyor

Hosting community events and winning an award

Since being repaired the building has hosted various local community events and has even been used as the village polling station. On a day-to-day basis it is used by the owners as an office and recording studio. In 2015 it won the East Riding Chairman’s Built Heritage Award in the single new dwellings, conversions and minor works category.

See the rectory's entry on the National Heritage List

Exterior photograph showing the repaired building being used as a polling station.
Adlingfleet Medieval Rectory has been used as the village polling station © Tim & Amanda Harding

Visit

As a grant-aided place, Adlingfleet Medieval Rectory can be visited by appointment or on Heritage Open Days The owners open the rectory to groups and give talks about the building and their experience of repairing it.

Find opening arrangements

20 years of the Heritage at Risk Register

This year we are celebrating 20 years of the Heritage at Risk Register, Historic England’s tool for shining a light on the listed buildings and places in England that need most help. Looking back over the last 20 years, huge progress has been made in saving our heritage and giving it new uses.

See more of our top 20 heritage rescues

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