After standing tall for almost 900 years, St Barrwg's Church from Bedwas, South Wales is rapidly being devoured by nasty wood-eating beetles. Hundreds of pesky insects have taken over the building, turning it from a place of serenity and peace into a possible hazard.
The ancient church was abandoned after being labeled as unstable and on the verge of collapsing over parishioners. The reverend was unable to hold the traditional Christmas service after specialists said the roof was unstable and could cause major problems.
“The problem is so extensive that the roof was considered to be in danger of collapse. The church was immediately closed and scaffolding erected to support the roof until the work of restoration can be done,” Reverend Midge Moore says, notes Daily Mail.
The historic landmark was built in 1102 and survived more than 900 years to finally be in danger of being brought down by beetles. In order to protect the building, locals started a donation campaign to raise money for the restoration and disinfection of the construction.
The deathwatch beetle acts as devastating as termites, and even if it grows only 0.3 inches long (seven millimeters), it is threatening to bring down the religious establishment.
The pests were spotted after people in the church started hearing noises in the walls made by the insects residing in the wood. This particular type of beetles make a peculiar noise, similar to a tapping sound when they are trying to attract mates.
The tapping sound is what led to the name “deathwatch” as it refers to a superstitious association with the “death vigil” or quiet watch upon the bed of the dying ones. In popular beliefs, the beetles have been linked to an omen of impending death or a sign of a future catastrophe.
The church-goers are trying to raise $496,000 (€360,000) in order to save the historic building from its beetle-due collapse. Before getting rid of the superstitious related bugs, the construction must be first stabilized as it is close to caving in.