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Chantry Chapel’s medieval stones to go on display

With work about to start on Wakefield's major waterfront project, Wakefield Historical Society's Council is making a renewed call for the restoration of the medieval front of the Chantry Chapel and its siting within the area of the waterfront scheme.

The front, sculpted in the 1350s, was a superb example of medieval craftsmanship. It was taken down in the 1840s when the bridge Chantry was rebuilt to the plans of George Gilbert Scott. The original front was sold to George Chapple Norton of Kettlethorpe Hall and was rebuilt beside the lake in the Hall grounds. Ownership passed to Wakefield Corporation in 1950 when it bought the Hall as a residential home for the elderly. From the early 1990s the front was subject to vandalism. The Historical Society made many pleas for the Wakefield authority to attend to its care but in the mid-1990s it was attacked with sledgehammers and the stonework was shattered. The Society regarded the authority's neglect as scandalous. However, the pieces were collected by staff from W

With work about to start on Wakefield's major waterfront project, Wakefield Historical Society's Council is making a renewed call for the restoration of the medieval front of the Chantry Chapel and its siting within the area of the waterfront scheme. The front, sculpted in the 1350s, was a superb example of medieval craftsmanship. It was taken down in the 1840s when the bridge Chantry was rebuilt to the plans of George Gilbert Scott. The original front was sold to George Chapple Norton of Kettlethorpe Hall and was rebuilt beside the lake in the Hall grounds. Ownership passed to Wakefield Corporation in 1950 when it bought the Hall as a residential home for the elderly. From the early 1990s the front was subject to vandalism. The Historical Society made many pleas for the Wakefield authority to attend to its care but in the mid-1990s it was attacked with sledgehammers and the stonework was shattered. The Society regarded the authority's neglect as scandalous. However, the pieces were collected by staff from W

Medieval stones from the original façade of Chantry Chapel will be showcased to the public for the first time in nearly two decades.

The original stones date back to the 14th century and remained part of the Chapel until 1847, when they were transferred to Kettlethorpe Hall and used to create the front of a boathouse in the grounds.

But after repeated vandalism, the buildings were dismantled in 1996 by Wakefield Council, which by then was responsible for the hall.

Now, 18 years later, the council has decided to display the stones to the public once again at the Secret Garden in Thornes Park, Wakefield.

Coun Les Shaw, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: “Chantry Chapel is an iconic building in Wakefield and its heritage is something we’re keen to preserve for future generations.

“The Secret Garden is an ideal location as it is already home to other local artefacts, such as a pinnacle from a restoration of Wakefield Cathedral and a column from Wakefield’s original market cross.”

The £20,000 project has been funded by the George Hyde legacy which is administered by English Heritage.

Coun Shaw added: “We are very grateful that Mr Hyde left this legacy which has enabled us to carry out this work and re-site the stones.”

Work is due to start on July 14 and take around two weeks.

 

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