Iconic Highbury landmark in danger of falling down

Christ Church, in Highbury, desperately needs cash to save its crumbling spire Pic: Google

Christ Church, in Highbury, desperately needs cash to save its crumbling spire Pic: Google - Credit: Archant

Frantic cash bid to save Grade II listed church from disintegration

Steeplejacks survey the disintegrating spire

Steeplejacks survey the disintegrating spire - Credit: Archant

One of the borough’s most famous buildings desperately needs cash to stop it from crumbling to rubble.

The iconic Christ Church Highbury, in Highbury Barn, is trying to raise £200,000 to repair it’s disintegrating spire - a cordon is already in place to stop huge blocks falling on passers-by.

A grant of £21,000 has already been given to start work on the 33 ft high, Grade II listed landmark, but Rev Jonathan Brewster says that is just the tip of the iceberg.

He said: “We are pleased that the Heritage Lottery Fund has agreed to provide an initial grant for exploratory work and that the church is now on the at risk register.

“The grant will pay for the fees of a team of architects, surveyors and engineers who will provide detailed surveys and drawings and obtain costings for stonemasons and the new matching stone and other materials.

“We plan to apply to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a grant of £200,000 to do the repairs. But the chances of success will be much higher if we can involve the local community in designing an associated heritage project.”

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John Gilbert, formerly councillor for the area, said: “Plans for a Highbury heritage project and a visitor centre at the church would be a valuable boost to our funding bid.

“We need the support of all who are interested in saving our spire - an iconic Highbury landmark - from demolition.”

Photographs taken by steeplejacks show stonework on the historic spire, finished in 1848, is falling apart.

The area around the foot of the bell tower is now considered a danger to the public and has been cordoned off.

Emma McNeely, committee member at Christ Church Playgroup, said: “I believe the proposed Highbury heritage project would be great for the community and I want to see the spire saved.”