Hard Hat Thursdays

1st September, 2014

Visitors to a Northamptonshire village church which houses some of the nation’s most treasured historic monuments will have a further chance to witness conservation in action following the extension of a successful summer scheme.

Art-lovers can now experience for free the on-going transformation of the centuries old Mongatu Monuments at Hard Hat Thursdays at St Edmund’s Church in Warkton until the end of October.

The Carrera marble monuments, which commemorate members of the Montagu family, ancestors of the Duke of Buccleuch who resides at nearby Boughton House, include two much-celebrated works by the renowned Huguenot sculptor, Louis Francois Roubiliac, whose work also adorns Westminster Abbey.

Adam Clarke of the Prince’s Regeneration Trust, which is overseeing the scheme, said: “People came from far and wide to witness the transformation of these wonderful sculptures during the initial opening season in August. Every Thursday, the chancel was packed to capacity. We look forward, now, to many more special days ahead with visitors to these celebrated monuments.”

The £498k conservation project, which began in February 2014, is being funded by the Buccleuch Living Heritage Trust, St Edmund’s Church Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Gareth Fitzpatrick MBE, of the Buccleuch Living Heritage Trust, added: “Hard Hat Thursdays, along with two special Heritage Open Days, offer rare opportunities to witness conservation in action as the project moves into its final stages this autumn. Thanks to painstaking efforts of the team at Skillingtons Workshop, we expect work to be completed later this year.”

The Montagu Monuments will open to the public between 10am and 4pm on Thursdays until the end of October. A special opening will also take place to celebrate the Heritage Open Days, between 10am and 4pm on September Friday 12 and  Saturday 13, with refreshments and activities on Saturday 13.

Entry to Hard Hat Thursdays is free of charge, and there will be an opportunity to make a donation to the restoration project.

For more information about the Montagu Monuments contact Adam Clarke, learning and outreach officer, on 07909254598 or email aclarke@buccleuch.com