Thorpe Thewles History Group

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Roger de Fulthorpe coped grave cover Conservation Project

Over the past couple of years several people have noted how much the condition of the fourteenth century gable ended grave slab of Roger De Fulthorpe (located in St. James Churchyar...d, Thorpe Thewles) has deteriorated. This is particularly evident from the comparative images below. The upper of these was taken at Grindon c.1940 while the second was taken by TTHG in 2005 some decades after its removal to its present location in St. James churchyard, Thorpe Thewles.
It is probable that this tomb cover originally occupied a position inside the Fulthorpe Chapel of St. Thomas a Becket’s church in Grindon before being relocated within the churchyard. Exactly when its relocation occurred is unknown but in was certainly recorded as being in the churchyard by the antiquarian and county historian William Hutchinson in 1785.
Considering that the c.1940 photograph represents the grave slab after at least 155 years of exposure to the elements and the second after a further 65 years it can be seen how fast its rate of deterioration has increased during recent times.
After consultation with Grindon Parochial Church Council (GPCC) TTHG has installed a temporary plywood cover over the grave slab to protect it from the elements over the next 12 months. Thereafter TTHG are planning to work with GPCC to apply for a grant(s) for the grave’s expert conservation and relocation to a safer long-term location on the existing site. In addition it is hoped that a new information board will be put in place to give historic details about this important local grave cover.
We hope to bring you more on the progress of this planned conservation project in 2012.

Re: Roger de Fulthorpe coped grave cover Conservation Project

After a very constructive meeting between TTHG and the committee of Grindon Parochial Church Council (GPCC) on 22/03/12 the fundamentals of a very positive action plan have been agreed to move this conservation project forward.

A new home for this important medieval monument, within St. James Church, Thorpe Thewles has been agreed in principal and now conservators’ reports and services plus grant/charitable funding schemes will be pursued to underpin and ultimately execute this project.

It is hoped that this project can be fully implemented within the remains of 2012.