Areas beneath the three largest historic wall monuments within the Church of St Mary the Virgin Arlingham are due to be brought back into use as work commences on their rebuilding and restoration.
Set in the village of Arlingham bordered on three sides by the River Severn, Arlingham church has served the local community for hundreds of years. Dating from the mid-fourteenth century in the decorated style, it still has some of the original stained glass windows. The three 19th-century wall monuments are the largest in the church. Concern about their stability meant that the pulpit and important areas of seating were cordoned off, preventing the church from being fully used.
The 18th-century monuments are in memory of Charles and John Yate, who were the last two male heirs of the former Arlingham Court Estate and who lived at Arlingham Court, which until the late 19th century stood opposite the church. The third wall monument is to Thomas Hodges, a former vicar of Arlingham.
Over the last six months, The Friends of St Mary’s, Arlingham, has sought funding from local and national funders for restoration work. Nine funders have agreed to support the necessary work, which has begun, being undertaken by O’Hare Stone Conservation of Stroud:
- Gloucestershire Historic Churches Trust
- The Arlingham Church Trust
- ChurchCare (Church of England)
- Leche Trust
- Laslett’s Charities
- Benefact Trust
- William and Jane Morris Fund
- Langtree Trust
- Jack Lane Charitable Trust
The funders are a blend of local trusts and charities as well as those who are amongst the largest UK grant-making charities supporting churches.
The Revd Liz Palin said, “It’s so good that this project is underway which will restore and preserve these important wall monuments for future generations to learn about and that these key areas of the church will again be fully usable. We are delighted to be working with Graham O’Hare of O’Hare Stone Conservation in Stroud to deliver this important work.”
The project has inspired local research on the people behind the wall monuments with their stories being published in the Arlingham News. The work is due to be completed at the end of April with a public participation opportunity planned for the morning of Saturday 15 April for people to view the work as it nears completion and for tours and talks on all aspects of the project and the people involved.
Jon Shaw, Lead of the Friends’ Major Projects Group, said, “This has been one of the first projects pursued by the relatively new Friends of St Mary’s Church, Arlingham. Its success is in no small part thanks to the support and guidance received from Adam Klups and the Buildings Team at the Diocese of Gloucester.”