‘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