Normanton Church, poised on the edge of Rutland Water near the village of Normanton, is a fascinating historical site that combines architectural beauty with an idyllic lakeside setting.
Its story is one of transformation and preservation, offering visitors a window into the past and a picturesque retreat from the present.
Built in the 1820s, Normanton Church is a classical example of Georgian architecture. With its iconic facade, complete with impressive columns and pediments, it mirrors the grandeur of ancient temples.
This design was initially meant to reflect the tastes and wealth of its original patrons, the Normanton Estate’s aristocrats.
The church stands as a remnant of this bygone era, having witnessed the evolution of the Rutland landscape from its pastoral origins to the establishment of Rutland Water, the largest man-made reservoir in England by surface area.
The Reservoir and the Church
The creation of Rutland Water in the 1970s was a pivotal moment for the church. Instead of losing the building completely, it was decided that only part of the church would submerged.
As a welcome act of preservation, an embankment was constructed around the church, ensuring that it would remain above the water level. The low level was filled with rocks and rubble with a new floor installed above.
This innovative solution created the illusion that the church floats on the water, particularly when the reservoir is full.
A Venue with a View
The church’s role as a venue adds another layer to its appeal. Couples from all over the country choose Normanton Church as the backdrop for their weddings, drawn by its romantic atmosphere and unparalleled views.
The serene waters of Rutland Water provide a calm, reflective surface that enhances the beauty of the church’s already magnificent facade.
The Symbolism of Normanton Church
Normanton Church has become a symbol of Rutland, a testament to the community’s dedication to preserving its heritage.
Its image, often captured in photography and art, represents the harmonious blend of nature and architecture. The church is a beacon of resilience, showcasing how history can be kept alive and enjoyed even as the landscapes around us change.
Address – Normanton Park Road, Oakham, LE15 8RP
Telephone – 01780 686800
Website – https://anglianwaterparks.co.uk/rutland-water-park/normanton-church