Archive for 15/04/2013

An Oscar Winner?

‘The pargetting at 25-27 Church Street, Saffron Walden (below and featured in my recent post ‘Milling, Mazes and Millionaire Shortbread’), has just been shortlisted for the prestigious Museum + Heritage awards in the restoration and conservation category, the conservation equivalent of an Oscar according to owner, Douglas Kent.

Church St

The work involved the exterior pargetting, especially of two huge figures which, legend says, were the giants, Gog and Magog. Kent, however, has discovered that they were more likely to be taken from a novel by the 17th century owner and author, William Winstanley. ‘I knew they were in a parlous state but when we looked closely there were doubts they could be saved.’ New techniques and £30,000 have stabilised them – very important as the two figures are perhaps the most memorable feature of the town. Kent, who had no grants towards the work, has decided to paint them in a creamy off-white though they were probably buff coloured originally. He has also decided on three extra ‘Invitation to View’ opening days, Wednesday, June 26 at 2.30 pm; Thursday, August 1 at 11 am and Wednesday, September 4 also at 11 am. The winner of the award will be decided on May 1.’

Source: ‘Invitation to View’ Newsletter, April 2013

Shine A Light

by Dayna Woolbright

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favourite things…

I do love kittens but one of my favourite things that I have come across since working on the Shine a Light project is a Church Rood screen from St Gregory’s chapel in Norwich. St Gregory’s is located in the centre of Norwich on the historic Pottergate Street.

The Church is now open to the public but during a period of redundancy some of the important historical artefacts have been removed and loaned to the Norfolk Museums and Archaeology service, where they benefit from the care of trained conservators. Other than the screen NMAS also possess a brass lectern in the shape of an eagle, a 14th century door knocker in the form of a lion’s head…

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