As part of a programme of public realm improvements, Colchester Borough Council appointed Liz Lake Associates as experts in heritage landscape schemes to help prepare proposals to make the grounds of St Botolph's Priory more welcoming by improving access for all and enhancing the setting of the Norman ruins, which are a Scheduled Ancient Monument and the Georgian Grade 2 listed St Botolph's church.
Heritage landscape schemes involve detailed analysis and a sensitivity to community opinion. Detailed proposals were developed following a consultation exercise canvassing and interviewing local people about how they used the area and what changes they would like to see.
The major change Liz Lake Associates recommended was the relocation of a war memorial to provide a more usable space beside the church that could be a setting for local theatrical groups to stage productions and concerts, small markets, church events and community activities. Improvements were made to paths and dark and overhanging vegetation was removed to bring light into the church yard, helping to enhance the experience of existing features.
St Botolph's Priory adds to Liz Lake Associates' extensive list of successful heritage landscape schemes. Following construction on site by ISG Jackson Ltd the project was opened to the public and the war memorial was rededicated.
The site is now one of the links in the Colchester Heritage Trail. Councillor Lyn Barton, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Sustainability said: 'The work which has been completed at St. Botolph's has included restoring the war memorial to its former glory and the place looks fantastic.
"The improvement works to the Churchyard and Priory grounds have rejuvenated the area and increased accessibility for all. We hope this will encourage more people to come and enjoy the area, which is a highlight of Colchester's rich heritage.'
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St Botolph's Priory