Thousands needed to save decaying historical relics

PUBLISHED: 18:00 28 January 2015

The tomb dedicated to Sir Thomas Rodney.

The tomb dedicated to Sir Thomas Rodney.

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'UNIQUE' historical monuments could be at risk unless thousands of pounds are raised to save them.

A monument depicting George Rodney.A monument depicting George Rodney.

Members of the grade one-listed St Leonard Church in Rodney Stoke are trying to raise £55,000 in total.

The monuments were created in the 15th and 16th centuries and depict the Rodney family, whom the village is named after.

Churchwarden Megan James said: “These monuments contribute significantly to the importance of the church, give a unique historical, artistic and social record, and provide an insight for teachers and students alike.

“It is very important to conserve these precious items of our heritage for the people who come to see them as part of their research and for future generations.”

The monument dedicated to Sir Edward Rodney and his wife Frances.The monument dedicated to Sir Edward Rodney and his wife Frances.

The monuments include the tomb of Sir Thomas Rodney, which depicts a knight wearing a suit of armour.

One monument, dedicated to Sir Edward Rodney and his wife Frances, is the only known image of the man who was MP for Wells during the civil war.

Ms James added: “These monuments to the Rodney family are very significant for the light they throw on the history of the local community and events of national importance.

“In addition, the imagery used in these memorials reflects important changes in the attitude to death and styles of commemoration in a period of great upheaval during the English Reformation and Civil War.”

A monument of Anna Lakes.A monument of Anna Lakes.

The fundraising has been boosted by donations from the Church Buildings Council, the All Churches Trust, the Leche Trust and the Francis Coales Charitable Donation.

But £35,000 still has to be found in order to protect them.

A report by Sally Strachey Historic Conservation said: “In several cases the rate of decay has now reached a dramatic pace and urgently requires immediate intervention.”

The report says the monuments are of national significance.

For more information visit www.stleonardsrodneystoke.org

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