The Dacre Monument

The Dacre Monument; (1595), Chelsea Old Church, London

The Dacre monument “which is an unusually fine example of Elizabethan sculpture” commemorates Gregory Fiennes, 10th Baron Dacre (b. 1539, d. 1594) and his wife Anne Sackville (d.1595) who he married in 1565, and also their daughter Elizabeth who died in infancy. The monument is attributed to Nicholas Johnson (d. 1624) who also created the tomb of the 5th Earl of Rutland (Church of St.Mary the Virgin, Bottesford, Leicestershire) .

There is a lavish use of materials; marble, alabaster, carved wood and stone and polychromed decoration. Besides the lifelike effigies of Lord and Lady Dacre, there is use of heraldry and symbolic motifs popular at that time. (Time, death and judgement are depicted by an hourglass, a skull and a balance).

Treatment primarily consisted of cleaning the stone, gilding and painted decoration, stabilisation of the structure, removal of previous restorations, reconstruction of selective losses and their integration. Extensive research was carried out especially regarding the replacement carving including the pair of wings which were missing from the top of the monument. The tomb is still protected by its original wrought iron railings and the polychromed metal funeral helmet of Lord Dacre is also displayed on the wall to the west of the monument.

In pictures

Click on any image for a larger version.

Feet before restoration Feet after restoration Skull before restoration Skull after restoration Lord Dacre