Church Monuments Society

MOTM placeholder grey

Lowsley Family Tomb

Month: July 2012
Type: Stone carving  
Era: 19th Century

Visit this monument

St Mary’s
Hampstead Norreys,
Berkshire

More about this monument

St Mary’s, Hampstead Norreys, is probably best known for the fragmentary sculpture of a charging knight on horseback which may have formed part of a funerary monument

Behind the church, another monument demands attention. Bright orange with rust, it is a cast iron square-based pyramid to the Lowsley family. Each of its seven steps was designed to carry one or more individual dedications, though not all the spaces were used. Unlike a stone monument, a new inscription panel had to be cast each time a person died. The first person commemorated was Job Lowsley (1790-1855), son of Joseph; the last family member recorded died in 1947 – almost a century of family history.

But in common with stone, cast iron is not indestructible. The third photograph shows that the south-east corner of the pyramid is splitting. This remarkable monument is in urgent need of conservation if it is not to collapse.

Dr Andrew Sargent