Northamptonshire church conserves sculpture of national importance

St Mary the Virgin Church, Southwick, has overseen the successful completion of its project to conserve the Lynn Monument.
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Following a concerted two-year fundraising campaign, St Mary's parochial church council has at last realised its long-held ambition to carry out essential conservation work to the Lynn Monument, a church sculpture of national importance. The painstaking conservation was vital if any further deterioration in the monument's condition was to be halted. The project was completed in April and this major work of art is now preserved for future generations.

The conservation was carried out by noted conservator Dr David Carrington and his team at Skillington Wokshop.

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The Lynn Monument was sculpted in 1760 by the French artist Louis Francois Roubiliac, regarded by art historians as one of the leading European sculptors of the eighteenth century. Anne Lynn of nearby Southwick Hall commissioned the monument in memory of her husband, George Lynn, who died in 1758. The monument is housed in the chancel of St Mary's, a small rural parish church near Oundle. The church is open every day and members of the public are free to view this important work of art.

The conserved Lynn MonumentThe conserved Lynn Monument
The conserved Lynn Monument

The conservation of the monument would not have been possible without the very generous support of the Northamptonshire Sculpture Tour, the Counties Heritage Foundation, Idlewild Trust, Leche Trust and Francis Coales Charitable Foundation, and generous gifts and legacies from parishioners. St Mary's is also very grateful for a grant provided by Church Care with financial support from the Pilgrim Trust and the Radcliffe Trust.

A service of thanksgiving marking the completion of the project was held at the church in June. Many representatives from the project's various grant funders attended, including James Miller, Deputy Lieutenant of Northamptonshire and Northamptonshire Sculpture Tour organiser. Mr Miller gave a fascinating talk about the history of the sculpture and the intriguing story behind it, involving an extra-marital dalliance and fatal duel.

Rosemary Coates, Church Warden and local painter and author said, "We are extremely grateful for the help given to us by national grant funds such as the Leche Trust and Idlewild Trust who recognised the importance of our project. Now with their generous support and the generous support of our other funders and donors we have fulfilled our long-held ambition to conserve this wonderful work of art."