Saxlingham is a large originally medieval church, heavily restored in 1898.
Around the church are the remains of a large memorial to Lady Mirabelle Heydon, this originally included a pyramid and columns and took up much of the chance. All that survives now are the figure of Lady Mirabelle herself, and a carved alabaster bible.
If you look closely you will see carved and painted angels in the chancel roof.
Saxlingham is closely linked with nearby Field Dalling, also a project church, and hope to run a number of shared events and activities.
Saxlingham is home to a large roost of Natterer's Bats that make this one of the messiest, and hardest to clean, churches in the project.
After full surveys in summer 2019, ecologist Phil Parker and Iain Walker the church architect came up with a number of plans to contain the bats in a separate roost and exclude them from the interior of the church.
The chosen option was to enclose the upper half of the north transept to make a self-contained bat loft with internal roost boxes. The loft was clad in a decorative screen to match the existing lower screen in front of the vestry in the lower half of the transept. A door in the upper screen allows access for cleaning and monitoring of the bat loft. We've also added an external roost box, and a series of new roosting spaces in the silence chamber.
As part of this work we have trialled using a drone to identify bat access points along the eaves, which has proved to be a very cost effective alternative to inspecting these areas with scaffolding.
The work was completed in 2022 and the bats are now using the new roost space extremely successfully. In early summer 2023 the interior was largely bat free and the church hosted the On A Wing & A Prayer artwork and held its first celebratory bat night.
In autumn 2023 the work at Saxlingham was featured on an episode of BBC's Countryfile