Council’s conservation of Pilgrim Chapel at Bradwell Abbey recognised by Historic England
Monday 8 November 2021
Following an extensive restoration and conservation project managed by MK Council, the 14th Century Pilgrim Chapel at Bradwell Abbey has now been removed from Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk’ register.
The Chapel of St Mary at Bradwell Abbey is one of the most important medieval buildings in Milton Keynes. The two-year project to restore it has been jointly funded by MK Council and Historic England with expertise from the MK City Discovery Centre, who manage the Bradwell Abbey site in partnership with the council.
Following the major work to repair and reinstate the Chapel’s roof and surrounding buildings by a team of specialist contractors, architects and archaeologists, MK City Discovery Centre is preparing to reopen the site to public visitors in 2022.
Cllr Robin Bradburn, Deputy Leader of MK Council and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Culture said: “We were thrilled to have a received a letter from Historic England to tell us that The Chapel of St Mary is no longer on its ‘Heritage at Risk’ register.
“I’d like to pay tribute to the dedicated and sensitive work of council colleagues and the MK City Discovery Centre, along with specialist support from Historic England, which has seen the site brought back to life and ready to welcome public visitors again in 2022.”
The remaining Grade II Listed buildings at Bradwell Abbey also include a farmhouse, bakehouse and several barns and buildings, which are all connected to its medieval past.
During the council’s restoration project, further historic items have been discovered including a head carving believed to be Eleanor of Aquitaine – contemporary to the 12th century construction of the Abbey, along with medieval paintwork in the farmhouse, two medieval arches found in the Medieval Interpretation Centre, and the original foundation walls of the priory building.
Following the completion of the project in 2022, the portable finds will be accessioned into the council’s Museum Collection held at nearby Milton Keynes Museum.
The council and MK City Discovery Centre are working with conservation experts to ensure that the finds in situ can be on open display as part of a new Visitor Interpretation Centre at Bradwell Abbey.