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Historic landmark saved after weekly-backed appeal raises £500,000

An appeal to raise half a million pounds to save an almost 500-year-old landmark has been successful following a weekly newspaper’s backing of the campaign.

The Evesham Journal has been campaigning for 18 months to raise the £500,000 needed for the urgent restoration of Evesham Abbey’s bell tower, which had fallen into disrepair.

After learning about the tower’s plight, the Journal published forms allowing readers to make donations to the appeal, and ran regular updates on plans for the restoration as well as stories about its history.

Conservation work has now begun after the appeal reached its target, which was announced in today’s edition, pictured below.

Evesham tower

The building stands in the grounds of the Worcestershire town’s All Saints Church and was built in 1531 by Clement Lichfield, the last Abbot of Evesham, as part of the former abbey.

The tower is now all that remains of the abbey after its dissolution in 1539 by King Henry VIII.

Journal deputy editor John Wilson praised the work of Sue Ablett, chairman of the appeal, who has led fund-raising initiatives in the community.

He said: “She has done a terrific job in coordinating efforts and obtaining grants from organisations such as the Heritage Lottery Fund.

“But Journal readers themselves have responded magnificently. They have donated sums large and small to the appeal and have organised dozens of fund-raising events, which we have done our best to publicise.

“Clearly, they were determined that such an important part of the town’s past should be preserved for future generations.”