Grinling Gibbons' carving
Did you know we may have not one, but two monuments by the most celebrated British woodcarver of the 17th century?
The stunning memorial to Theophilus Hastings, 7th Earl of Huntingdon (1656-1701), was carved by Grinling Gibbons around 1698. The family monument took over a year to complete and contains a floral border, winged putti, coats of arms and a cornice and corbels carved with leaf forms. The columns, now faded with time, were painted black which once created a bold contrast with the white background.
We have known about the provenance of the 7th Earl's monument for some time, but recent research by Ian Scruton has revealed that a monument on the south wall of the chapel, containing the coats of arms of Francis, the 2nd Earl and his wife Katherine Pole, may also be by Gibbons. Click here to read Ian's article about the newly identified monument on the Church Monuments website.
Gibbons was widely regarded as one of the finest wood carvers of his time, creating magnificent works at Windsor Castle, Hampton Court Palace, and St. Paul's Cathedral. Most of his work is in lime wood, composed of decorative Baroque garlands of natural elements. They were commissioned to frame mirrors and decorate the walls of churches and palaces, but he also produced furniture and small relief plaques with figurative scenes. Although his work was predominantly in wood he created some stone monuments for several English churches. including St. Helen’s in Ashby de la Zouch….. Lucky us!