Normanton Church, Rutland Water
Normanton Church, Rutland Water

Normanton church is a Rutland icon. This lovely classical building stands on a narrow peninsula of land jutting out into Rutland Water. It was created by architect Thomas Cundy for the Earl of Ancaster, on the foundations of earlier buildings dating back to the 14th century.

The medieval church here was rebuilt in the 1760s in classical style and again rebuilt by the 4th baronet to create the church we see today.

When Rutland Water was created in the 1970s the church was threatened with being sunk beneath the waves and lost forever. Local groups campaigned to save the building, and a compromise was reached.

The lower part of the building was reinforced to protect against water damage and the upper section was turned into a local museum, with displays on the creation of the Rutland Water reservoir, local history and geography.

You can see dinosaur fossils and an Anglo-Saxon skeleton found when creating Rutland Water, and watch a short video presentation on the construction of the reservoir. Monuments found within the church were removed, and some of these can now be seen at Edenham church in Lincolnshire.

There are lovely walks along the shore in both directions. You can stroll to Normanton from the nearby water sports centre parking lot (signposted). Come on a quiet summer evening and watch the sun set across Rutland Water; its a truly unforgettable sight!

As far as we can determine the museum is now closed and the church is used primarily as a wedding venue. It is still well worth visiting as a picturesque icon of Rutland history.

Do not mistake this Rutland church with the medieval church of St Nicholas in Normanton, Lincolnshire.