This article came from the Chronicle published April 1986.  Pages: 74-76


News Round-Up – April !986


CREWKERNE. An inspection of the recently repaired west wall of the churchyard of St, Bartholomew has revealed. that one of the coping stones is a fragment of a mediaeval monument. The stone, on the south side is os the west gateway, shows the weathered outline of the upper half of sculptured Ham stone figure with hands at prayer and head on a single cushion. The degree of weathering makes it very difficult to identify the type of figure represented but it is most probably a priest. It is hoped to include a short article on this discovery in a future edition of Chronicle.

Visit: 27.12.85.

COMPTON MARTIN: SOMERSET. The Conservation Centre at Wells has recently begun work on the 13th century civilian effigy from St. Michael’s Compton Martin. The figure was originally found beneath the church floor in 1858 and crudely restored before being set up in the church. It had been suffering from action of damp and a decision was taken to conserve it with the support of a grant from the Council for the Care of Churches. After the removal to Wells the first task was to remove the Victorian cement which had been used to build up damaged parts of the figure. This revealed that the bearded face, central portion and feet were ail in relatively good condition. Details of the full conservation programme have still to be finalised.

Visit: 20.2.86.

LONDON. Excavations on tree site of the Roman basilica(s) in the City of London will take place until October 1985. To date substantial footings have been revealed. It is clear from these footings that the building suffered from major structural problems at least during building, as substantial cracks have been found. Tills appears to be the result of building over disused ditches with only a soft in-fill.

Daily Telegraph:
A viewing gallery his been erected so treat the public follow the excavation. A description of the history and significance of the site may be found in this Volume on Page 85.

MARSTON MAGNA. A five acre site adjacent to the parish church has been purchased by the County Council. The area covers the well preserved earth works of a moated manor site with its water courses and ancillary buildings. The site has been saved from “development”.

The Western Gazette:
For an account of the Society’s recent visit to this important site see Chronicle Vol3(3) Page 53

MIDDLE LAMBROOK: SOMERSET. Grants from English Heritage and the Historic Churches Preservation Trust nave enabled restoration work to be carried out to the 18th century United Reformed Chapel at Middle Lambrook. The present building dates from 1729 but it occupies the site of one of the earliest nonconformist chapels, set up soon after the Five Mile Act of 1665 but destroyed by fire before the end of the 17th century. The registers date from 1681 and the interior fittings are the original 18th century box pews and galleries with a clock made by Reuben Lamude of Chard in 1734. The building is characterastically austere with Ham stone ashlar at the front and Petherton stone at the sides from the Lightgate Lane area of the restoration a copy of the Times South Petherton. During thr restoration a copy of the Times for 1888 was discovered, price 3d.

Western Gazette:

NATIONAL TRUST OPEN HOUSE. On 23rd April some fifty National Trust properties will be open free to the Public for the day. The same arrangement last year attracted three times the normal number of visitors. The open day is sponsored by Prudential Assurance and enables the National Trust to maintain its charitable remit to provide “open-air sitting rooms for the poor”. The following Trust properties are among the fifty:- 

Devon: Arlington near Barnstable
  Castle Drago Drewsteignton
  Killerton Broadclyst nr Exeter
Dorset: Brownsea Island Poole Harbour
Somerset: Dunster Castle near Minehead
Wiltshire: Stourhead Gardens near Mere

A full list was published. in the Daily Telegraph for January 30th 1986.

SEAVINGTON ST. MARY: SOMERSET. The church here has recently been declared redundant and is being restored by the Redundant Churches Fund. It was found that very thick plaster and mortar had been applied to the internal surfaces of the walls masking many architectural details. A false ceiling also hid the wooden roof structure. Repairs to the roof will be given priority this year. The work is being supervised by Mr. Schofield. There is a possibility that the fine 15th century yard tomb at Knowle St. Giles may be moved to Seavington St. Mary for preservation because the Victorian church there is currently being converted into a private house.

Visit: 4.1.86.

SOLENT. There are sonar indications that a large piece of structure may remain on the site from which the Mary Rose was raised. It has been suggested that this may be a longboat belonging to Henry VIII’s flagship.

Daily Telegraph:
31.1.86. page 76

YORK MINSTER. Good progress has been made with the repairs to the south transept of York Minster. The glass from the rose window has been taken down for repair, which involves cleaning, fixing the cracks with adhesive and creating a sandwich for each leaded piece between two new pieces of plain glass. There are 73 panels and many thousands of pieces and by the end of 1985 nearly half of this work was complete, according to Peter Gibson of the York Glazier’s Trust. This year there will be an exhibition of restored glass to celebrate the 500 years since it was set up. The only stonework which still needs attention is part of the tower arch. By the end of 1986, 14 oak ‘A’ frames will have been, erected, boarded and covered with lead, effectively renewing the roof structure but Mr Bob Littlewood, Clerk of the Works, estimates it will take another 3 years to finish the including restoring the vaulting. The total cost will be some 3 million pounds, nearly all of which will be met by insurance companies. The Cathedral is also spending half a million pounds on improved fire precautions, including what is believed to be the best lightning conducting system in the world.

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