Project Details

This page comprises three tables - the first summarises what is being done in the project, the second shows the intended timetable, and the third shows the state of funding.

St Mary's churchyard in Painswick is famous for its collection of some 230 tombs, mostly dating from the eighteenth century. These are usually referred to as "table tombs" although they come in many different forms. Taken together, they form a remarkable resource of local history and architectural quality. There have been efforts to catalogue and record the tombs in the past and a remarkable collection of photographs and measured drawings dating from the early twentieth century has recently come to light. Meanwhile, the tombs are in many cases in a poor condition, and work is needed to arrest their decay. The project seeks to deal with the most urgent repair work, and at the same time to catalogue and analyse the photographic and drawn record, and to make the whole heritage of these tombs more widely known and enjoyed.

The aim of the work is to change the appearance of the churchyard as little as possible. As you wander round, you may have difficulty spotting those tombstones which have already been conserved; we have not sought to smarten them or level them or replace decaying carving. However, with careful observation, you may spot cracks which have been filled with lime mortar.

iron cramp

The main work has been to replace the iron cramps (like giant 6 inch staples - see photo above - which hold the tombs together across the corners under the lids) and to replace lost mortar in cracks between the stonework to stop water getting inside. As the iron cramps have rusted, they have expanded and cracked the stone. You can see evidence of this on many tombstones in the churchyard at the corners just under the lid. Their replacement with stainless steel cramps embedded in lead in traditional manner are invisible.

lifting lid
Lifting the lid
shattered corner
Shattered corner
repaired corner

Outline Timetable

Activity Status
at 31 July 2009
Phase 0
(preliminary planning and survey work before mid 2006)
Preliminary surveys
Securing Lottery Funding
Securing Listed Building consent
Other initial work
Phase 1
(work completed summer 2008)
Stone conservation work on 36 tombstones
Aug-Sep 2006
Apr-Sep 2007

Preparation of Display Boards
Catalogue archive material
Prepare guidebook and/or information sheets
Informal Demonstrations of Conservation work
Survey and other preparatory work for Phase 2
Phase 2
(work taking place from mid 2008 to mid 2011)
Stone conservation work on 61 tombstones
Demonstrations of Conservation work
Preparation of Schools material
Conduct research projects
Under consideration

Funding Position

Donor / Event £
(as at 31 July 2009)
National Lottery (two tranches)45,000
Pilgrim Trust10,000
Gloucester Diocese3,500
Painswick Conservation Society1,000
Roy Truman Legacy20,000
Jennifer Olsen funeral donations262
Septima Woolley funeral donations556
Jean Turner funeral donations1,526
Flower Guild (2008)3,986
Painswick Fete (2008 and 2006)2,579
Thameshead Singers Concert (2006)1,040
Painswick Hotel Evening (2006)350
Abseiling down Tower (2006)2,757
Patrons and Friends and donations (to date)7,832
Sales of Guides and Leaflets (to date)1,544
Total received101,932
National Lottery (final tranche) promised5,000
Grand Total (received plus promised)106,932
Payments to date 
Centreline work to date74,286
Falconer (architect)11,396
Past Historic11,785
Glos Records385
Grand Total (paid)98,494