Securing A Sepulchre

by Gerry Lynch last modified 19 Mar, 2015 12:18 PM

16th Century Easter Sepulchre in the Tarrant Valley sees extensive conservation work.

Securing A Sepulchre

Barry de Morgan, Hilary Fildes (Churchwarden), the Rt Revd Dr Graham Kings, the Revd Michael Foster, Tim Smith

Extensive conservation work on the historic Easter Sepulchre monument at St. Mary’s Church in Tarrant Hinton has been completed in plenty of time for this year’s Easter celebrations.

Located in the north wall of the Chancel, the Easter Sepulchre is unique in Dorset and a rare example nationally, due to its carved Caen stone, architectural style and the its late date. It is thought to have been completed in around 1520, just before the English Reformation really got going, since the style of its carving is influenced by the early Renaissance.

Grants to fund the project came from the Dorset Historic Churches Trust, the Erskine Muton Trust, the Churches’ Building Council and the St. Andrews Conservation Trust. The conservation work, which was carried out by Sally Strachey Historic Conservation and J.A Coombes Ltd,  including internal cleaning, stabilising and recording of the Easter Sepulchre, carrying out external drainage improvements and re-pointing the north wall to reduce damage from damp. Additionally, the funds covered building safe access to the top of the tower and alarms to protect the lead roofs of the church. 

The Revd Dr Michael Foster, Rector of the Chase Benefice, said, “It was a pleasure to welcome so many visitors to the church’s dedication service at the weekend. We’d like to say a big thank you to the Dorset Historic Churches Trust, the Erskine Muton Trust and the Churches Building Council for their generous grants and to all others who have contributed towards this project. Now that our beautiful Easter Sepulchre has been conserved for future generations, we shall bring it back into Tarrant Hinton’s celebrations each Easter.”

Barry De Morgan, Deanery Representative for the Dorset Historic Churches Trust, added, “The Trust was delighted to be able to award this grant to St. Mary’s Church in Tarrant Hinton, in order for the essential conservation work to be completed. We are pleased to be able to assist in restoring such an important monument, not only for the church, but for Dorset.”  

Based in Dorset? Does your church need financial assistance with repairs?

The Dorset Historic Churches Trust assists churches of any denomination in the county with repairs in certain circumstances and, in a more limited range of cases, with improvements. More information from their website.

The Erskine Muton Trust makes grants to C of E churches in Dorset for church buildings. Frant allocations are made on the recommendation of a diocesan review committee. More details here.

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