Conservation of Chancel Monuments

Conservation work was undertaken on a number of the monuments in the Chancel in 2013.

The work on the Shakespeare monument included a cross-section paint analysis to establish more about its interesting history. It is known to have been painted white in 1790 and was only returned to a more ‘natural’ colour scheme in the 19th century.

The chest tomb of Thomas Balsall, who rebuilt the Chancel in the 1480s, was originally decorated with brasses and stone carvings but was defaced and mutilated during the reformation. The thin grey wash that was applied during the 20th century has been removed to reveal traces of coloured paint and repairs to the stonework have been undertaken.

The chest tomb of John Combe, a friend of Shakespeare who died in 1614, and the memorial to Richard and Judith Combe were also included in the conservation programme. Most of the alabaster has had wax applied in the past, which had attracted dirt and the original pink had discoloured to a dark brown. This wax was removed, the monuments cleaned and repairs made to the alabaster where required.