Conservation of table tombs in Gloucestershire churchyards

Published: Friday September 23, 2022

DAC Secretary Adam Klups with Graham OHareAdam Klups, Senior Church Buildings Officer for the Diocese of Gloucester, together with Gloucestershire-based stone conservator Graham O’Hare remotely attended the Congress of the International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (IIC) in Wellington, New Zealand. They presented a conference poster which focuses on two recent case studies of table tomb conservation projects in churchyards at Stinchcombe and Little Barrington.

The poster celebrates the leadership and successes of volunteers, and reflects on the wider role and the importance of heritage conservation in rural communities, and the benefits volunteer-run conservation projects can bring.

As the DAC Secretary, Adam Klups and his team support parish volunteers planning building repair, conservation and development projects with practical advice on project planning, accessing conservation expertise and finding funding opportunities, and assist them with securing permissions under the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules.

The Revd Fiona Crocker, Vicar of St Cyr’s, Stinchcombe, said: “It was heartening to see the interest generated in the preservation and understanding of this aspect of the history of our village. History allows us to be placed as human beings in the context of time and allows us to have that sense of belonging to something which is so much bigger than ourselves. The work of preserving our tombs was an important and enlightening process and enabled a part of the history of this village to be preserved.”

Jacky King of Little Barrington PCC reflected: “For many years, I have walked through the churchyard into church, barely noticing the tombs on either side of the path. Working on this project has opened my eyes to a whole treasure-trove of fascinating facts about their construction and symbolism, and awakened my interest in all the people who have been buried here through the ages. Having read the amazingly well-researched condition report by our conservator, the whole PCC is now hugely well-informed and inspired by the project, and the excitement is beginning to ripple through the whole community.”

Adam says: “The poster draws on the volunteers’ personal accounts, as well as the authors’ own experience gained through supporting local communities on their journey to preserve unique examples of tangible heritage of Gloucestershire over the past decade. It advocates an increased non-expert involvement in the planning of conservation projects involving local heritage and reflects on the changing role of conservation in rural communities.”

For more information, take a look at the Churchyards section of our website.

You can view the full poster and read more about the table tomb conservation work here.

Please do contact Adam Klups () if you would like to discuss project planning, relevant requirements and funding available for table tombs’ conservation.

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