Restoration work on four world-class marble sculptures in a Northamptonshire village church has been nominated for a national award.
The Montagu Monuments are four 18th and early 19th century memorial sculptures which take pride of place in Grade I listed St Edmund’s Church in Warkton, near Kettering.
The sculptures were rescued by Skillington Workshop Ltd of Grantham, which has been chosen to go forward to the finals of the Historic England Angel Awards in London on Monday, September 7.
The four monuments, all sculpted from fine marble, commemorate key members of the Montagu family and were secured, painstakingly cleaned and conserved by Skillington Workshop.
The church will be open throughout 2015 to showcase these special monuments, from 10am to 2pm every Thursday and at the same times every day in August except Sundays.
Backed by Lord Lloyd Webber, the Historic England Angel Awards celebrate the efforts of individuals and local groups all over the country who put hours of hard work and enthusiasm into saving derelict and severely damaged historic landmarks from being lost forever.
Lord Lloyd Webber said: “Huge congratulations to everyone shortlisted for this year’s Historic England Angel Awards.
“From celebrating the efforts of a preservation trust in County Durham to recognising exquisite craftsmanship on a medieval barn in Middlesex, the dedication of a Norfolk friends’ group rescuing their local church and the transformation of an East End pub by an extremely committed landlady, the variety on show proves just how passionate people are about saving their heritage.”
Chief executive of Historic England Duncan Wilson said: “Acknowledging people’s passion and commitment in rescuing historic places is incredibly important.
“If it weren’t for these unsung heroes getting involved in their local heritage, much of it would be lost forever.
“We need to celebrate their achievement as champions of our heritage.”
Groups from all the shortlisted entries have been invited to attend the Historic England Angels Awards ceremony at the Palace Theatre in London’s West End where the winner in each category will be announced.
The awards show will be hosted by Lord Lloyd Webber and held in the presence of the other judges, George Clarke, Emma Bridgewater, historian Bettany Hughes and the Dean of Westminster, John Hall.
Historic England is inviting members of the public to visit www.historicengland.org.uk/angelawards to see full details of the shortlist and vote for their favourite.
By voting they will automatically be entered into a competition to win one of 50 pairs of tickets to the awards ceremony and two lucky voters will win not just a pair of tickets to the awards ceremony but also to the post-show reception hosted by Lord Lloyd Webber.
The full shortlist can be found here.