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Stow Minster suffers tornado damage

by
31 January 2014

By Richard Vamplew

RICHARD CROFT/WIKI COMMONS

A MINI-TORNADO has caused significant damage to one of the oldest parish churches in England.

High winds damaged a large stained-glass window after sweeping through Stow Minster, near Lincoln, on Saturday afternoon. Gusts of up to 50 mph also caused large sections of the roof to buckle.

The Minster Church of St Mary, Stow-in-Lindsey, is one of the oldest parish churches in England. It originally served as the cathedral church of the ancient diocese of Lindsey, founded in the seventh century, and stands on the site of a much older one. Sections of the church date from 950.

Stow Minster is Grade I listed, and was included in the 100 most endangered sites in the world by the World Monuments Fund in 2006. It was restored in Victorian times, but now needs repair work estimated at £2-3 million. It is also historically significant, as it was the mother church for Lincolnshire before the building of Lincoln Cathedral.

The watch commander at Gainsborough fire station, Mike Marot, who was called to the scene, said: "The window was blown in with such force that the ironwork frame was embedded in the floor inside the church, and it is just impossible to pull it out. The wind got under the roofing, and it just rippled the whole way along."

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