Cracks in ceiling lead to cancelled art fair

AN ART fair, which was due to take place at Battle Abbey School over the Easter weekend, was cancelled after a number of cracks were found in the ceiling plaster.

Just days before the inaugural Artisans at the Abbey event, a number of small cracks and an area of loose plaster were discovered in one part of the ancient Abbot’s Hall ceiling.

The damage was revealed during routine maintenance work.

Battle Abbey School, after consultation with English Heritage, said it had ‘no choice’ but to take the ‘regrettable’ step of temporarily closing the Abbot’s Hall whilst a full survey to ascertain the level of damage and action required is undertaken.

English Heritage specialists are expected to start work on the ceiling shortly.

Ian Mercer, the chairman of governors of Battle Abbey School, said: “This prestigious new event has received a huge amount of press coverage and we know exhibitors and visitors alike were very excited at the prospect of being able to show at, and visit such a stunning and historic venue, one rarely open to the public.

“This has been a very special bespoke project with unprecedented collaboration between Battle Abbey School, English Heritage and LVP Arts and promised to deliver a unique event of the highest quality.

“The preservation of this stunning and beautiful building for future generations and the safety of the public are clearly of the highest priority, however, we are confident that we shall be able to reschedule the event in the very near future.”

Pupils returned to Battle Abbey School yesterday (Thursday)following the Easter break.

Two scaffolding tunnels have been put up in the hall to provide a temporary safe passage for pupils.

All school assemblies, which take place in the Abbot’s Hall, hall have been cancelled.

A school spokesperson said the work on the ceiling will be finished by the next event at Battle Abbey School on May 24.