Askrigg gardens day raises £1400 for threatened church tower

The Old Beet House garden, one of 17 which was opened.

By Betsy Everett

An open gardens day in aid of St Oswald’s parish church tower renovation fund raised more than £1,400 in just three hours. Seventeen people opened their gardens to the public, teas were served in church and the Holiday Property Bond, which has a development in the village, had a plant stall.

Eleanor Scarr set up her own miniature garden in the village hall porch because her own garden at Coleby Hall was too far outside the village to include on the trail.

“We couldn’t take villagers to the garden so we brought the garden to the village, and it proved really popular. I got £25 in my wishing-well bucket,” said Mrs Scarr.

MaryRose Kearney, chair of the fabric committee, paid tribute to helpers and visitors who made the day such an outstanding success.

“We were thrilled at the support we had from everyone: helpers, visitors, people who couldn’t be there but made donations. It was only three hours but it was a great success,” she said.

Repairs to the damp-ravaged tower of the Grade 1 listed, 15th century, church will cost around £220,000 and it is estimated that around one-third of this will have to be raised by the church itself, says Mrs Kearney. She added that about a third of the money would have to be raised by the church itself.

“There are grants available nationally but they are greatly over-subscribed and it all takes time,” said Mrs Kearney. Planning permission has been sought and the Leeds diocese has to approve the work before it can go ahead. Depending on the weather and necessary permissions it is hoped the work can start next spring.

Eleanor’s miniature garden