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Future Events

Mid-week visit to Rockingham, Northamptonshire. 11th.May

Following the success of the visits to Milton Hall and Deene Park, a visit has been arranged for Thursday, 11th.May, for members and friends to see the family portraits and monuments of members of the Watson family. The Watsons have been custodians of Rockingham Castle for over 450 years. James Saunders-Watson is the present owner of the Estate, which includes the whole village of Rockingham.

Click here for more information.

Booking form

Lichfield Study Day, Saturday 20th May 2017

Our study day for 2017 will be taking place at the Cathedral Church of St Mary and St Chad, Lichfield. This medieval cathedral is famous for its three stone spires, known locally as the “Ladies of the Vale”. It is probably the third cathedral on the site, containing original work from the 13th to 15th centuries, and elements of rebuilding and remodeling from the 17th, 18th and 19th Century.

The English Civil War had a profound effect upon the cathedral. The close itself was fortified, and some evidence of that still exists. The central tower was host to a sniper, who shot dead a Parliamentarian commander across the Minster Pool. Its spire was later shot down (rebuilt during the 1660s). There were 3 sieges, the control of the close passing to Parliament, then back to the Crown, and then again to Parliament. The building was used to garrison troops and horses, and suffered abuse that is well documented.

However – the most profound effect to us was the loss of monuments. What we see today is large monuments from between late C17 and C20, a couple of “purbeck” bishops, lots of tablets and a discreetly positioned cadaver. Lichfield had a share of C16 and early C17 monuments, now mostly gone. There are still one or two local peculiarities to see.

In terms of artists, we include the names of Chantrey, Epstein, Hollins and Westmacott in our role of honour.

The order for the day will be as follows:

10:30 Walk around Cathedral funerary monuments.

12:00 Lunch (Not provided, but Lichfield noted for its eateries)

13:30 Presentation session

Speakers to include Philip Lankester (re- early effigial monuments in the cathedral), Adam White (covering post-reformation period) and Barbara Tomlinson (late 17th and 18th century monuments)

16:00 Tea

16:30 Close

(You may also note that there are a number of tea rooms in the old part of the city which are open by 9:30am)

The cost for this study day will be £20 for members and £25 for non-members.

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24 June 2017: Memorials in the Marches (Ludlow)

St Laurence's Church in Ludlow houses a fine set of memorials to people associated with the Council of Wales and the Marches over the period 1550–1650. The Ludlow Palmers are hosting a conference in the church, on the church monuments, in association with the Church Monuments Society.

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Tour of East Hertfordshire, Saturday 15th July 2017.

Led by Andrew Skelton & Jean Wilson

These five churches have many monuments on different social scales.  Three of the churches have long-lived family connections from the 1700s, ranging from local gentry (Halsey of Great Gaddesden), lower aristocracy (Saunders-Sebright, baronets  of Flamstead) to upper aristocracy (the titled Egertons  - earls and Dukes of Bridgewater - of Little Gaddesden), but this does not necessarily reflect the form of the monuments commissioned.  An earlier group is at Aldbury, with their origins in a local dissolved abbey, while at Tring there is one magnificent monument that would not be out of place in Westminster Abbey.

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Click here for booking form

Informal study day at Brecon, Saturday 28 October 2017

Brecon Cathedral (formerly the parish church, and before that the Priory of St John) is ledgerstone heaven. Restoration by Scott in the 1860s and 1870s saved an outstanding collection of early modern floor slabs including about 60 of the characteristic Welsh cross slabs. The cathedral also has medieval cross slabs and effigy tombs.

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Saturday November 25 2017

We are aware that the costs of excursions have (inevitably) been rising. I propose to lead a cheaper walking tour of Cambridge churches and college chapels, no fewer than eight, no more than ten, and including Gonville & Caius, which has the most important set of early modern monuments in Cambridge. No refreshments will be provided, but we'll leave a long gap for lunch and finish in time for participants to get tea before the Evensong at Kings & St John's Colleges (5.30/6.30).

Full details and booking form will appear in the next Newsletter and on the web site.

‘Interpreting Medieval Monuments: Iconography and Meaning’: one-day conference in London, Saturday 17 March 2018

On Saturday 17 March 2018 year the Society is holding a one day conference in Senate House, London, on ‘Interpreting Medieval Monuments: Iconography and Meaning’. The speakers will be Sally Badham, Jessica Barker, Brian & Moira Gittos, Nicola Jennings, Andrew Murray, and Sophie Oosterwijk. Fuller details and a booking form will appear in the autumn Newsletter, but meanwhile get it in your diary.

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Important Notice: Disclaimer

Note that paths, floors, steps and fittings in and around historic buildings may often be uneven and participants are expected to take reasonable care.  None of the officers, committee or members of the Church Monuments Society and no leader or organiser of any event, visit, walk or programme promoted by the Society shall be liable in respect of the death of, or injury, damage or loss to, any person or the property of any person, which may occur or arise out of participation in any such event, visit, walk or programme.

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