The striking Normanton Church is one of Rutland’s most iconic landmarks. With a chequered past resulting in its unique position over the water, there couldn’t be a more memorable venue for your wedding.
A Brief History
Before Rutland Water was the reservoir we all know and love, the valley was home to St. Matthews Church.
St. Matthews Church (later renamed to Normanton Church) was a parish church in the 1700s, then served as a private chapel for the Heathcote Baronets following the destruction of a large swathe of the village to make room for their estate.
The estate broke up in the 1920s, leaving the church largely abandoned until the decision was made to create Rutland Water.
The church was renovated substantially over the years, adding a new tower, portico, nave and chancel. The result is an eclectic mix of classical styles which give the modern church its unusual and eye-catching appearance.
Saved From Destruction
When the decision was made to flood the Gwash Valley due to growing water demands in 1970, the church was slated to be destroyed and subsequently deconsecrated.
The ensuing public outcry lead to a plan which would partially save the church. The lower floor of the church was filled with rubble and a new concrete floor laid on top, essentially cutting the church in half horizontally.
This lower half would be submerged when the valley was flooded, with the church becoming a small island. As such, a causeway was built to keep access from the shoreline. The edges of the island were then fortified with boulders to defend it against the water.
The outcome was one of the most iconic churches in the UK, seemingly floating above the waterline.
For a time, the church served as a museum and memorial, but has now been repurposed as a beautiful and unique wedding venue!
Visit our Weddings at Normanton Church page for more information on bookings and open days.
Our water parks not only bring vital water resources for the region, but they also provide a fantastic day out for all the family.
Whether you're looking for an action-packed day on the water, a spot of fishing to escape the stresses and strains of everyday life, or simply want to enjoy a relaxing walk in beautiful surroundings, look no further than our fabulous water parks.