Why is Dore Abbey special?
The stone building that stands today was started in 1175 and was consecrated by St Thomas Cantilupe in 1280. Dore Abbey was one of the great medieval monasteries of Herefordshire, and today the church is believed to be the finest Cistercian survival in England.
Part of the monastic church remains in use as the parish church today. Dore Abbey it is more 800 years old in parts and is one of the major examples of Norman and Medieval monastic and church architecture in the country.
The Abbey features the work of John Abel, a Herefordshire born master carpenter. Abel became one of the best-known craftsmen in the kingdom when he witnessed the siege of Hereford during the Civil War, and he helped the city's Royalist garrison by making mills for corn and gunpowder. Charles I rewarded him with the title of King's Carpenter in 1645.
Today the building is Grade I listed and the grounds in which is stands are a scheduled ancient monument. Grade I buildings are of exceptional interest. Just 2.5% of listed buildings are Grade I.
The Abbey still plays an important role in the community. It hosts regular services, weddings, christenings and funerals, as well as a range of community and musical events.
Why do we need your help?
Dore Abbey is on Historic Englands 'buildings at risk' register due to the poor and deteriorating state of some of the sections of the roof and the fact that it is beyond the capacity of the small parish of Abbeydore to maintain a building of this size and national importance.
Twenty years ago the Abbey was going to close. This prompted the formation of the Friends of Dore Abbey and the main roof was replaced with a grant from English Heritage.
Now we need to replace the sections of the roof that weren't repaired at that time; the north and south ambulatory roofs and the tower roof, in order to stop them leaking. We also need to point the stone work on the Tower to stop water seeping into the joints between the stones and causing damage.
How much is needed?
We need to raise £590,000 to do this work. We know that this is a huge sum! As the Abbey is Grade I listed, we have to ensure that we replace the existing roof tiles with as close a match as physically possible. In order to meet this requirement, the stone for the roof tiles has to be quarried locally and cut by hand.
The Friends of Dore Abbey have been fundraising for the building for many years and have £100,000 to put towards the project.
We aim to raise between £60,000 and £100,000 through the Raising the Roof campaign and will be applying for grants to make up the remainder of the money needed.
How can you help?
We are asking people to help us raise funds by sponsoring roof tiles at £25.00 each.
Sponsor 1 or more roof tiles and you will be invited to a community celebration and blessing event for the new roofs once completed.
Sponsor 4 or more roof tiles and you will be invited to a community celebration and blessing event as above. You will also have your name written in our supporters book which will be placed in the Church at the end of the project. You can send us a written dedication should you wish to add one to the supporters book.
Sponsor 10 or more roof tiles and you will receive all the benefits listed above and the opportunity to have one of your tiles engraved with two initials of your choosing. This could be your own initials or those of a loved one.
Sponsor 20 tiles and more and you receive all the benefits listed above along with an invitation to our patrons event(s).
What will we do with your money?
Every pound given to this campaign will be used to fund the restoration works required.