The Titchfield Gothic Tomb.

The Titchfield Gothic Tomb, a gem in Hampshire.

Two years ago we learned that not only did we have a Gothic tomb situated in St Peter’s cemetery in Titchfield, but that it is the only one of its kind in Hampshire.

We can hear you asking ………. and ……….. so the “and” is that the tomb is currently lying flat to the ground in need of complete restoration, and Fareham Council, who are responsible for this are unable to fund any restorative work, due to financial constraints. In short, if we want to restore the tomb we must raise the money to pay for this ourselves. We believe strongly that this tomb should be restored as it is an important historical gem in our village.

The Titchfield Gothic Tomb was built in c1850 for the Woolridge Family but was dismantled some 50 years ago with many others which have long disappeared. We have a team of historians looking into the history of this family as little is known at the moment. Fortunately 80% of the tomb chest has survived. This period was inspired by Augustus Pugin, responsible for the Houses of Parliament and many other Gothic Revival churches and interiors, while most of the other tomb chests are of the Georgian period c.1760.

We have a restorer; Mr Ron Knee, who a lot of you will know as a skilled restorer of tombs.  He is suggesting that the restoration is carried out in three separate phases.

Phase 1

The Gothic Tomb after completion of phase 1.

The Gothic Tomb after completion of phase 1.

This will ensure the clearing of all debris and spoil from site.  The foundation of the tomb will be built, using only Fareham Red bricks from site or reclamation.  The barrel roof of the vault will be repaired and the concrete foundation will cover the entire vault roof and if necessary vault entrance, thereby sealing entire chamber beneath.  This phase is now complete.

Phase 2

This will build onto the new foundation stone, support kerb edgings and inner skeleton support walls to support stone sides and end panels.  This cost will be £920 plus VAT.

Phase 3

This will will ensure the building of the Portland stone tomb chest using all available existing stone on site, any missing sections to be replaces with reclaimed Portland, or if not available new.  The Portland stone ledger will be reinstated.  This will cost £1,260 plus VAT.

We have been working behind the scenes to raise the funding for this and we are delighted that Friends of St Peters Church have funded the first phase, but we need the community to become involved in raising money to fund the rest of it.  If you wish to become involved or have any ideas about how we might raise this money please contact either Pat Shirley  Pat.Shirley1@googlemail.com and/or Alison Ascough alison.ascough@ntlworld.com.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Pat & Alison