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Thieves steal lead roof from Hanworth Church

The lead covering the south aisle of St Bartholomew’s Church in Hanworth has been stolen leaving roof timbers exposed to the weather.

The theft was discovered when a Hanworth resident went to mow the grass in the churchyard earlier this month and realised something was amiss. They found that lead covering the fifteenth century south aisle had been stripped off.

Church Warden Richard Harbord said “It is not clear when the theft actually occurred, as the church is isolated from the village of Hanworth, and the south aisle is hidden from view at the back of the building so the theft went undetected until the grass was cut”

The roof timbers are now exposed to the weather, and the Squire’s Pew inside is also at risk of damage, so Richard is keen to get the roof covered as soon as possible, and is appealing for donations to help cover the cost. “I haven’t received a quotation to cover the roof in an alternative material yet, but it is likely to be many thousands of pounds”.

St Bartholomew’s was built in the grounds of Hanworth Hall, and the south aisle and clerestory were added in the fifteenth century. The hall was in the ownership of the Doughty family for many years, hence the Doughty family pew at the west end of the south aisle, now threatened by weather damage from the missing roof.

The picture of Hanworth Church is courtesy of Richard Harbord.


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