A monument of ‘national importance’ in a church in Little Thurlow is in need of restoration.
Funding is currently being sought to carry out much-needed restoration work on a monument to former lord major of London and Little Thurlow resident, Sir Stephen Soame and his wife, Lady Jane Soame.
The monument, which is housed within the Church of St Peter in Little Thurlow, dates back to 1622.
Sir Stephen Soame, who is buried with his wife in the church, was Lord Mayor of London in 1598 and died in 1619.
The monument incorporates decorative carved black marble, with column shafts, alabaster canopies and alabaster reclining figures.
“The monument is of national significance,” said the Rev Derek Hollis, rector of the Stour Head benefice, of which the church is part. “The condition of the monument is such that we need to look into substantial repairs.
“It needs a very good clean. Part of the monument’s held together with metal cramps which have corroded over time.”
It is estimated that the repair work will cost more than £12,000.
According to church architect, Tony Redman: “The memorial has cracked and moved over the years and a number of cracks are visible in the base.
“Of the eleven figures of their children, six of them are insecure and ought to be re-secured to the main matrix.
“In the first instance I recommend a conservator’s report be obtained to identify the most appropriate cleaning methods.”
The damage has occurred gradually over time but a recent lead theft from the church roof could have added to the monument’s deterioration.
MrHollis said: “Several years ago some water got in through the roof after lead was stolen. It was right over the monument and the water contributed to the damage.”
Funding is currently being sought from the Church Building Council, the Francis Coales Trust and the Leche Trust, as well as from the Sainsbury’s Family Trust.
Contributions from the public would be gratefully received. Contact Mr Hollis on 01440 763066.