Repair work costing £250,000 to the spire of a Northampton church has finally been completed.
The final step of the development took place as the original 24-carat gold cockerel was mounted back onto the top of the spire at St Matthew’s Church in Kettering Road on Tuesday, 11 months after the work began.
The project featured repairs to the stonework, including the pinnacles, turrets and walls, and to the spire, which towers to a height of 170ft.
Church treasurer Richard Alcock said: “This has involved a great deal of work high up on the roof. The main reason for doing it was for safety. The stonework high up was crumbling away and it’s very important to keep this secure.”
This is the first work of its kind carried out on the church since it opened in 1893 and was partly funded from a trust left by a woman from Northampton who used to attend the church before she died.
More funds came in from grants, including £10,000 from the Northamptonshire Historical Churches Trust, donations, fund-raising events and loans from church-goers.
Mr Alcock said he was delighted with the work, and added: “There is a feeling of thankfulness and satisfaction that a good job has been done to protect the church and its heritage for future generations.”
Steeplejacks working on repairs to the spire found a time caspule hidden in one of the church walls.
The capsule dated back to 1894 and contained a newspaper, coins and a piece of wood signed by the workmen who originally built the church.
The church committee have created a new time capsule, containing a parish magazine, some coins and photographs, which will be placed in the walls before the scaffolding is taken down.