Welcome to a new year, and a new Curiosity of the Week! Our first curiosity of 2021 is a sunken church. It’s also one of the UK’s finest hidden gem tourist attractions.
Normanton Church is something of a beauty in terms of location and architecture, but it’s also just that little bit quirky!
Built in medieval times as St Matthews Church, the building has been much altered over the centuries. From the 18th century onwards, it started to take on a classical appearance with a Corinthian style tower replacing the original and a portico (or fancy columned entrance) added.
An unusual church
So, what makes this church so quirky? And why is it a tourist attraction? Well, the church became a bit of an icon after Rutland Water reservoir was created. Originally, the church was due to be demolished to make way for the reservoir. But, after an outcry, a new plan was put into action and the church was turned into a unique location.
Standing on the edge of the water, the church was partially submerged. But rather than an underwater attraction, this beautiful building is still accessible via a specially created causeway and embankment. The deconsecrated church was also given a new floor, so the pretty interior can still be viewed and used.
Today, the church is used as a dream wedding location and it’s easy to see why. And due to the way it stands on the edge of the water, looking as though it’s almost floating (or sinking), it’s frequently photographed by visitors.
The building is currently closed, so keep an eye on the church’s website for information about when the building will be open for visitors again.
If you enjoyed reading about Normanton Church, you might like to explore our previous Curiosity of the Week treasures. Alternatively, for more unusual churches, the Historic Churches Trust has an interesting page of inspiring places.
We are always on the lookout for interesting customs, hidden places, and unique buildings and landmarks, to share with our readers. If you have an idea for Curiosity of the Week then please do get in touch, we welcome suggestions from everyone. You can contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a message via Facebook.