Appeal to find monuments men and women to promote Montagu sculptures in Warkton

A Montagu Monument at St Edmund's Church in Warkton
A Montagu Monument at St Edmund's Church in Warkton

People with a passion for history are needed to show visitors round a Grade I listed church’s marble sculptures.

The four 200-year-old Montagu Monuments are 18th and early 19th century memorial sculptures in St Edmund’s Church, Warkton, which are considered of world-class importance.

The Montagu Monuments''The Montagu Monuments are Warkton's hidden treasure. Two of the monuments were created by Roubiliac and are considered to be surpassed only by his monument to Lady Elizabeth Nightingale at Westminster Abbey. The project to restore them aims to save the sculptures for future generations and draw more people into the area to appreciate these rare works of art. Over the last few months the sculptures have gone through an intensive cleaning process. Restoration work has also included replacing corroded internal iron work and recasting some of the marble detail that has been lost ' such as a hand on the Lady Elizabeth Montagu sculpture. The Montagu Monuments Conservation Project is enabled by generous assistance from The Heritage Lottery Fund, the Buccleuch Living Heritage Fund, St Edmund's Church PCC, The Georgian Group, The Ironmongers' Foundation and many other supporters. NNL-141125-114457001

The Montagu Monuments''The Montagu Monuments are Warkton's hidden treasure. Two of the monuments were created by Roubiliac and are considered to be surpassed only by his monument to Lady Elizabeth Nightingale at Westminster Abbey. The project to restore them aims to save the sculptures for future generations and draw more people into the area to appreciate these rare works of art. Over the last few months the sculptures have gone through an intensive cleaning process. Restoration work has also included replacing corroded internal iron work and recasting some of the marble detail that has been lost ' such as a hand on the Lady Elizabeth Montagu sculpture. The Montagu Monuments Conservation Project is enabled by generous assistance from The Heritage Lottery Fund, the Buccleuch Living Heritage Fund, St Edmund's Church PCC, The Georgian Group, The Ironmongers' Foundation and many other supporters. NNL-141125-114457001

A conservation project to preserve the sculptures is being managed by The Prince’s Regeneration Trust, which has been commissioned by St Edmund’s Parochial Church Council (PCC) and the Buccleuch Living Heritage Trust (BLHT).

The Montagu Monuments Conservation Project wants to recruit a team of volunteers to help bring the sculptures to life. In return, they will receive training and expenses, with the support of the project’s funders, including the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), which provided a grant of £318,000 in September 2013.

Volunteers should be passionate about art and the historic environment, enjoy meeting new people and be prepared to devote an average of at least half a day a month to the task.

Essential conservation work took place last year, partly funded by the grant from the HLF. This year, the PCC and BLHT want to showcase these special monuments, which are in the best condition they have been in since their installation between 1750 and 1835.

The four monuments, created from white carrara marble, are in the specially designed chancel of St Edmund’s Church, which is a Grade I listed building.

Director of collections for the BLHT, Gareth Fitzpatrick, said: “The unique collection of monuments, seen in such a surprising setting, deserve greater recognition and an enthusiastic team of volunteers will help to showcase and interpret them to a wider audience.”

Those interested can email adam.clarke@princes-regeneration.org, or write to Adam Clarke, Montagu Monuments Learning and Outreach, Boughton House, Kettering, NN14 1BJ, stating why they are interested in becoming a volunteer guide.

For more details on the project, go to www.boughtonhouse.co.uk/boughton-house/montagu-monuments/