The home of the largest Benedictine monastic community in Britain has been given a fundraising boost for urgent repairs to preserve historic church

Ampleforth Abbey, home to the largest Benedictine monastic community in Britain, has been awarded a grant of £2.9 million by Heritage Lottery Fund.

The grant will be released in its entirety once Ampleforth Abbey processes plans to make urgent repairs to the Grade II listed Monk’s Bridge and the Grade I listed Abbey Church.

After the necessary repairs are made, it is hoped that more tourists will be attracted to the abbey and grounds. The 2,200 acre estate in North Yorkshire has been home to the Benedictine community since 1802.

Sue Fisher, director of Development at Ampleforth Abbey, said: “Receiving Heritage Lottery Funding’s support is a testament to the historical significance of Ampleforth Abbey. This National Lottery money will enable us to encourage more visitors to come to see and experience the Benedictine way of life in the 21st century.”

Funds will extend the visitor experience and provide a better understanding of monastic life and heritage with the 59 monks engaging with visitors through organised retreats, acts of worship, the visitor centre, tearoom, orchard, shop and landscape.

Sir Peter Luff, Chair of Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “Ampleforth Abbey is a place of inspiration and beauty. It has entranced past generations and will continue to do so in the future thanks to National Lottery players. Visitors will see more clearly than ever the wonderful heritage of buildings, of nature and of faith as they marvel at the Abbey’s breath-taking architecture and enjoy the surrounding landscape.”