People are being asked to have their say on the future for nationally important sculptures at a Northamptonshire church.
The Montagu Monuments created in honour of the Duke of Montagu and his wife Mary in the 1750s are described as Warkton’s hidden treasure.
The monuments were created by Roubiliac, who was was a French sculptor described as “probably the most accomplished sculptor ever to work in England”. His Warkton works 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 past 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 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.
Now people can have their say on how the history and restoration of the monuments should be presented in St Edmund’s Church at Warkton.
The informal consultation will take place at Warkton Village Hall from 5.45pm until 8pm on Wednesday, December 3.
A spokesman for the project said: “Local residents can have their say on how the history and restoration of the recently-conserved Montagu Monuments are presented in St Edmund’s Church.
The Parochial Church Council (PCC), together with The Prince’s Regeneration Trust and the Buccleuch Living Heritage Trust, are looking at how they can put the best possible and most appropriate heritage interpretation in place ahead of the official opening of the monuments next April. Attendees will be among the first to view the newly restored, world-class monuments.”
The parochial church council, Prince’s Regeneration Trust and the Buccleuch Living Heritage Trust want your help in answering two key questions.
These are; which stories about the monuments would best capture the imagination of visitors, and how should these stories be told?
The spokesman said: “The evening will have a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, with mulled wine and mince pies.
To confirm your attendance on the evening, please email adam.clarke@