010/100 – Normanton Church, Rutland Water

St. Matthew’s Church, Normanton – Thomas Cundy Jr. 1829

Rutland Water is a fairly young body of water. It is one of the largest artificial lakes in Europe, and it has only existed since the early 1970s.

When you choose to flood a valley to create a reservoir, you inevitably rub out features of the landscape, including some which were man-made. Sometimes those features exist at the very edges of the disruption, and that’s pretty much what happened to the church at Normanton, above.

The floor of the church was to be below the proposed water level, and yet locals wanted to retain the building if possible. This was achieved by filling the lower half with rubble and a concrete ‘floor’, creating the ground floor level you see now. It’s only when you learn this fact and look again that you can see the subtle difference; the church appears to be half-buried/underwater.

The church was de-consecrated in 1970, and is now a grade II listed building used for civil weddings and other events.