Tintern Tomb Renovation almost complete

Free Press Series: SWA_BM_1241_1 (839553) SWA_BM_1241_1 (839553)

A PROJECT to restore a listed tomb to its former glory is due to be finished this week.

Tintern Community Council was carrying out research on the graveyard at St Mary's on The Hill when it was discovered that two of the monuments were listed but had no inscriptions.

After successfully applying for £8,750 in restoration grants from The Village Alive Trust, The Countryside Council for Wales, and The Leche Trust, the council was able to hire specialist conservation stone mason and carver, Mark Hancock, of Centreline Stone, to restore the sarcophagus tomb.

The church, stands on the site of a medieval chapel that was used for services until 1972. Burials continued until the church was destroyed by fire in 1977.

The tomb was originally believed it be that of Robert Thompson (1757-1821), who married into the Crawshay dynasty, in Merthyr Tydfil, in 1790 and his wife Elizabeth, who was the sister of Richard Crawshay.

Elizabeth and Robert, who was also High Sheriff of Monmouthshire in 1817, and held the lease for the Tintern wireworks, were both buried at St Mary’s Churchyard.

But after extensive research the tomb is believed to belong to Richard White, a wealthy ironworks leaseholder who died in 1765.

Mr White was the son of George White, who owned the New Weir Forge and Furnace at Symonds Yat and Monmouth Forge.

He leased the wireworks for nearly 30 years and was described on his memorial as ‘inoffensive and benevolent, he lived without an enemy and died, beloved by all.’

A council spokeswoman said: “We wanted to get this rather lovely old tomb restored, especially as the person buried there had local connections with the ironworks and was obviously well-thought of.”

“It’s lovely to see it finally being restored. Once complete, which we hope will be by the weekend, we will put an interpretation board in the churchyard telling visitors about its history."

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