Members of the Higham Ferrers Tourism Committee are raising money for the Ukraine appeal by selling off 34 stones that fell from the inner front perimeter wall of the 600-year-old Henry Chichele College last year.
The stones are being sold at the Chichele Garden Fair on May 28 for between £5 and £10 and each stone that is being sold will come with a special certificate.
Liz Barnatt, the Tourism Committee chair, said: ‘’We will be selling the stones to anyone who wants a piece of history in their homes or gardens, with all the proceeds going to the Ukraine appeal. People might want to say they own a medieval stone.”
Committee member Carol Fitzgerald, who is also on the Chichele College Management Committee, said that the sale of the stones will make a lovely addition to the Garden Fair, which will also feature music, refreshments, children’s artwork based on the story of Henry Chichele, as well as well as a host of garden-related stalls.
Chichele College was founded by Higham Ferrers-born Henry Chichele, an Archbishop of Canterbury. It is owned by the Duchy of Lancaster and is a Scheduled Monument and part of the National Heritage Collection in the care of English Heritage. Higham Ferrers Tourism Committee cares for the day-to- day management of the site.
In February 2021, five tonnes of rubble crashed to earth from the College Street side of the site, marking the first time that there had been a stone fall in 600 years.
Specialist stonemasons were called in and their years of experience and conservation expertise have now returned the wall to its former glory. They also restored a deteriorating and dangerous boundary wall in Saffron Road.
They used replacement stones from the Churchfield Quarry in Oundle, fitting in some of the fallen stones where they could. However, 34 stones were unable to fit back into the wall and it is these stones that the tourism committee is planning to sell off at their annual Chichele Garden Fair on May 28, which this year will mark the 600th anniversary of the ancient site.
The Tourism Committee will also be sending the proceeds from their Fashion Show on June 17 and the Quiz Night on October 29 to the Ukraine Appeal.