Bourne Preservation Trust’s bid to restore old grammar school in Bourne

The old Bourne Grammar School
The old Bourne Grammar School
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ONE OF Bourne’s oldest buildings could be given a new lease of life.

Bourne Preservation Trust has written to Bourne Education Foundation asking for a meeting to discuss the future of the old Bourne Grammar School, in Church Walk, Bourne.

Trust chairman Jack Slater, of Beech Avenue, Bourne, said: “We have sent them a letter to see if they would like to meet us to talk about what their feelings would be about us taking it on as a project to restore the building.”

The foundation, which is part of Bourne United Charities, owns the grade two listed building.

He said: “It was always something we wanted to do, so we thought we would make an inquiry.”

The school, which is in the churchyard of Bourne Abbey dates back to the 17th century.

The trust is part of Bourne Preservation Society which was set up to save the chapel of rest in Bourne.

Mr Slater said society members were keen to restore the building and make it useable again.

Entry to the old grammar school, which can only be approached through a path in the churchyard, has been forbidden since it was condemned in April 2003, which is why the trust hopes to bring it back to a useable state.

Mr Slater said: “This will hopefully give the foundation a chance to consider its future.”

The trust is now waiting to hear back from the foundation to discuss the idea further.

A spokesman for Bourne Education Foundation, which is in charge of an educational fund invested for the benefit of education in Bourne, has said the matter needed to be discussed between its members before responding to the trust.

The old grammar school was funded by a bequest from local landowner William Trollope in 1636 but its stone foundations may date back further.

Major repairs were carried out in 1858 and in 1876 but falling pupil numbers forced the school to close in 1904. It was replaced by the existing grammar school in 1921. Roof repairs were also carried out in 2007.

The trust received confirmation of its charity status from The Charity Commission earlier this month, after applying for it in November last year.

It is also waiting to hear whether restrictions will be lifted on the chapel of rest which is holding up its plans to restore it.

Bourne Town Council wrote to the Diocese of Lincoln for a second time last month to ask them to lift the covenant on the building, which is restricting the use of the south chapel.

The society wants to renovate it but needs to apply for grants - and to do this it needs the chapel’s covenant lifting.

The Diocese has so far said it will only relax the covenant so the chapel may be used for worship.