Heritage preserved as Trinity Square is transformed

Work is well underway on the churchyard of Hull’s Holy Trinity Church to create a fabulous, uninterrupted and completely renovated open area in Trinity Square.

The redevelopment of Trinity Square, including the grounds of Holy Trinity, is a key element of the multi-million pounds transformation of the public realm in Hull city centre. The Holy Trinity project is being delivered in partnership with Hull City Council, and the Holy Trinity Development Trust is contributing £400,000 to the costs of the Trinity Square renovation, to account for the works within the church grounds.

The removal of the churchyard wall and gates at the western entrance of England’s largest parish church will create a wonderful new piazza setting which will become a showpiece events venue and gathering place during Hull’s year as UK City of Culture in 2017.

Particular care and diligence is being taken to observe the value and heritage of this historic site which involves the lifting and recording of commemorative ledger stones, many of which are cracked and severely damaged. Experts from Humber Field Archaeology are recording all the stones, in writing and photographically, and those worthy of keeping will be retained within Holy Trinity.

York stone removed from the deteriorating churchyard is to be repurposed by a landscaper who restores heritage monuments and cityscapes. Broken and unmarked stones will be buried within the church’s boundary on consecrated ground.

 The over-mature black poplar tree which dominates the western entrance of the church will be felled and the wood used for furniture and carvings within Holy Trinity. Cuttings taken from the tree will be given to Hull City Council to be replanted in a suitable location.

The Victorian gates and gate piers are also likely to be reused at the Trinity Burial Ground where works are underway in preparation for the upgrading of the A63 Castle Street. An archaeological review has found that stone within the wall is of very poor grade and unlikely to be of any use in future building. Consequently, the church has accepted an offer to remove the wall for use for landscaping within a local conservation area. 

 The church will continue to be open throughout the works and will host various exhibitions and cultural events alongside its routine church services and activities. The church entrance is now on the South Church Side with visitor access via a temporary tarmac walkway along King Street. 

The Vicar of Holy Trinity, the Rev Canon Dr Neal Barnes, said “We are very conscious of preserving the heritage within the churchyard and committed to reusing materials wherever possible.

“We are working very closely with Humber Archaeology and the city council’s contractors for the public realm programme, Eurovia, to achieve this.

“We know the work is disruptive in the short term, but we are really looking forward to welcoming local people and visitors into Holy Trinity from a beautifully renovated Trinity Square.”

The external works are the first phase of a £4.5m transformation of Holy Trinity which will bring significant benefits for the church and the wider community during 2017 and beyond.