St Michael’s Church Venables Screens project wins National Lottery support
St Michael and All Angels Church in Middlewich, with the help of Middlewich Heritage Trust, has received £7,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting Venables Screen conservation project. This project is part of Phase 2 of the Church’s Restoration Project, Phase 1 of which is currently underway.
Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project focuses on two oak screens painted with heraldic shields dating back to the 13th Century. These rare survivors were commissioned by the Baron of Kinderton in 1632 and 1633 and were painted by William Smith supervised by William Dugdale, Norroy King of Arms.
The screens were removed from the Barons chapel in 1850 and placed in the Bell tower, where you’ll find them today, in quite poor condition. These unique screens are important, not only for genealogy and heraldry, but also local history and the story of the Norman ‘barony’ in Cheshire; as such they have a highly significant value to Middlewich.
This HLF funded project will produce a Conservation Management Plan which is required before any restoration work on the screens is undertaken. It provides an opportunity for local people to discover the origins of the Venables, exploring their family connections whilst learning about the conservation of historic objects and the preservation of the screens and their history. The plan will also determine their eventual siting in the church after restoration.
Middlewich Heritage Trust, on behalf of St Michael’s Church will work with volunteers to help them to learn about conservation techniques and to develop research, recording and communication skills; contributing to the Conservation Management Plan.
We are looking for volunteers to Work with professionals to gain a deeper insight into this previously under-researched part of the Town's history, and to pass that learning onto others.
Interested? email email@example.com