A MEDIEVAL church has been resurrected after it was painstakingly taken apart brick by brick after suffering years of vandalism.

St Helen’s Church was dismantled and transported from its original site in Eston, near Middlesbrough, to be rebuilt at Beamish Museum in County Durham.

Each individual brick was numbered in 1998 and historians declared an ‘amnesty’ for people to return as much of the original stone as possible for the 900-year-old church.

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The bricks were taken to the museum and placed in a field while funding was sourced to pay for the rebuild project to be completed.

After two-years’ dedicated work, the exterior of the church has now been erected but has yet to be opened to the public due to lack of finance.

Curator of the museum, Jim Rees, said: "The rebuild was entirely funded by ourselves and it was the lack of money or any grants towards the reconstruction which had meant that so much time had elapsed since we took it down.

"The delay in final completion is due to having run out of funds for the project.

"This does not unduly worry me as the lovely new roof and gutters are on, so it is coming to no harm.

"It still needs plastering in the nave, flagstone floors throughout, doors and windows, which will be made by our own joiners, and Georgian box pews installing, once we find some.

"All the original woodwork was of course destroyed in the fire.

"Outside we need to do a lot of landscaping; more flags, the church yard wall and a 'Hearse House' to house our 19th century hearse, which I believe to be the oldest anywhere.

"The uncertainty of raising the money means that at present we are unable to set a date for public opening, although all visitors to the museum can at least view the outside of the building now."