Volunteers with a passion for history are being sought to show visitors around a Grade I listed church’s 200-year-old marble sculptures.
The Montagu Monuments are four 18th and early 19th century memorial sculptures in St Edmund’s Church in Warkton, Kettering, Northamptonshire, which are considered to be of world class importance.
A conservation project to preserve the sculptures is being managed by a world-leading heritage charity, 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 lead partners.
The Montagu Monuments Conservation Project is seeking to recruit a dedicated team of volunteers to help bring these amazing works of art 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 at an average of at least half a day a month to the task.
Throughout 2014 essential conservation work has taken place, partly funded by the grant from The HLF. A highly skilled team of conservators has cleaned and secured each monument, protecting them for the future.
This year, the PCC and BLHT want to showcase these special monuments, which are in the best condition since their installation between about 1750 and 1835.
The four monuments, each created from white Carrara Marble, are in the specially designed chancel of St Edmund’s Church, which is a Grade I listed building. They commemorate four members of the same family, spanning three generations, the Montagus from nearby Boughton House.
Ros Kerslake, chief executive, of the Prince’s Regeneration Trust, said: “Each of these monuments represents the life of a member of one of Northamptonshire’s most important families, telling us something about the artists who created them and acting as a window into life in Georgian England. They are truly world class.
“These positions are a wonderful opportunity for anyone interested in art and the historic environment or in pursuing a career in heritage tourism.”
Gareth Fitzpatrick, Director of Collections for The Buccleuch Living Heritage Trust, 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 should email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Adam Clarke, Montagu Monuments Learning and Outreach, Boughton House, Kettering, NN14 1BJ.
For more information on the project, go to: http://www.boughtonhouse.co.uk/boughton-house/montagu-monuments/