St Anne's Chapel 2011/12

St. Anne’s Chapel is one of Barnstaple’s oldest and most important historic buildings. Dating back to the early 14th Century it has served the people of Barnstaple for 700 years. It has been an ambition of Barnstaple Town Council to see St. Anne’s once again at the heart of town life.

This exciting restoration project ensures the building’s long term future. St. Anne's can now offer two spaces for use by the community.  The first floor of the Chapel comes complete with a host of old school furniture from the days when St. Anne’s was the town grammar school and is suitable for meetings and performance. The Crypt contains a kitchen area and the space lends itself well to craft based activities.

Thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and a generous grant from Devon County Council, Barnstaple Town Council is proud to announce that St. Anne’s has started a new chapter in its rich history.

View the St. Anne's Restoration Diary.


logos St Anne's Chapel


St Anne's Launch Party

Hundreds went through the doors of the newly restored St. Anne's Arts and Community Centre on Saturday 11th August to take part in its exciting launch event.

The centre was official opened at 10.30am by The Mayor of Barnstaple, Councillor Mrs Lesley Brown. Historical re-enactments, workshops, music and storytelling took place throughout the day with a mass paper aeroplane throwing finale at 1.30 followed by a performance by The Barnstaple Ladies Choir. Lucky holders of free tickets were then invited to a private concert by Sorrelli Strings to round off the days proceedings.

View the St Anne's Launch Day photo album with photos by Tom Teegan.

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To see what is in store at St. Anne's visit the events page.





Rock Park Lodge 2010


Rock Park Lodge

The Town Council has now established its ownership of Rock Park Lodge, which has lain empty and disused for many years.  This Grade II Listed building sits at the entrance to Rock Park on Ladies Mile and was previously the park-keeper’s home.

Following the confirmation from the Charity Commissioners in 2009 that Rock Park belonged to the Town Council, councillors decided that the Lodge needed to be brought back into use to generate some income for the upkeep of the park.  Surveys and planning permission for work to this Grade II Listed building were obtained and repair works were carried out during September, October and November 2010. 

Contractors, Morgan Sindall, and architects, David Wilson Partnership, faced several challenges in bringing this lovely building up to current day standards, and the Town Council is grateful to them, Gates Safety Management, and officers from North Devon Council who gave so much help and guidance.   

The only disappointment has been that work to the panelled room, which was the public access room, has been put on hold due to budgetary constraints.  It is estimated that this room will require over £20,000 spending on it to repair the damage, and the Town Council will be looking at ways to finance this work in the future. 

The building is now used by a community arts group as their headquarters.  

Panelled room Rock park lodge

 The panelled room in Rock Park Lodge.




Albert Clock Heritage Project 2009


Time to repair Albert

“I tell a time, different each face,

Adored, loved, pride of place”

Charlotte Bater 2009 (Poetry Competition)


The Albert Clock is one of Barnstaple's most prominent listed structures, as a Grade II listed building, and serves to identify the town.  The clock tower was erected as a memorial in 1862, and was built to commemorate the death of Prince Albert, consort to Queen Victoria.  

It was designed by the Borough Surveyor Mr Richard Davie Gould.  In 2007/8 Barnstaple Town Council identified that the Clock was at risk and subject to detrimental environmental damage as a result of age and weather erosion.   A decision was made to apply for funding both to repair the Clock and to develop a sustainable education programme to develop and promote the town’s remarkable history and heritage.

In September 2008 the Town Council was successful in their Heritage Lottery bid and so began the Albert Clock Restoration and Education projects.


Albert Clock project


The contract for the repair and restoration works to the Clock was awarded to the locally based firm, Morgan Ashurst Plc (now known as Morgan Sindall Plc).  The project was managed by Barnstaple Town Council in partnership with David Wilson Partnership and Gates Safety Management Ltd, both of whom are based in the town.

The works carried out, from March 2009 to August 2009, were as follows-

Stone work (cleaning, re-pointing and replacement where necessary).  Particular work was needed at the higher level where there was more significant damage;

Clock workings and faces (repair or replacement works where necessary);

Clock mechanism (change to automated);

Lead/timber work (repaired where necessary);

Weathervane (repaired).

In December 2008 the Town Council appointed an Educational Outreach Worker who, along with special advisors and a Steering Group, revamped the Heritage Trail with booklet, activity sheets and plaques, in addition to devising and implementing an educational programme. 

A “Twist in the Trail”, the Heritage Trail re-launch event, took place on Friday 5th June 2009.  Over 350 people attended this event throughout the day.   As part of this project the Town Council trained members of the public, as volunteers, to be Heritage Trail tour guides.  This has ensured that these tours continued this year and will do so for future years to come.

The big unveiling event for the Albert Clock was held on Saturday 28th August 2009, with between 750 - 1000 people attending.  This event included a Mayoral Procession led by the town’s Youth Marching Band, speeches, “surprise” confetti cannons, stunt and tricks by Merlin (Entertainer), vintage Victorian rides, and other activities. 

The Educational Outreach Worker devised and implemented an education programme which encouraged and promoted a greater understanding, enjoyment and engagement with the Albert Clock and Barnstaple’s wider history.  A variety of activities/events were carried out throughout the year – a poetry competition, clock models, workshops, batik work, mural paintings, a photographic competition, culminating in a Victorian Christmas Fayre event.  Overall, 8 schools, 284 school children and 43 volunteers were involved in this project with 1,746 members of the public attending the 3 big events.  A lasting legacy from the educational programme is the Barnstaple history box- a learning instrument in place for the use of all schools and community organisations/groups which contains amongst other items examples of, Barum Ware, musket balls and a selection of original fixtures and fittings from the Albert Clock. The history box is available from the Barnstaple Heritage Centre.


Crowds at the Albert Clock

The Albert Clock celebrations

The Mayor unveils the Albert Clock plaque

The Albert Clock celebrations on the Square

Albert Clock Supported by The National Lottery


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