Ledgerstone Recording Project
Our team of 32 volunteers had just 3 days to record over 100 ledgerstones in the North aisle of the Abbey before the stones were lifted and removed!
What are ledgerstones?
Ledger stones are decorated flat stones placed in sites of worship as memorials to former parishioners.
What is the Ledgerstone Recording Project?
The project saw volunteers from the Abbey and NADFAS (National Association of Fine and Decorative Arts) join forces to make detailed recordings from the ledger stones in the North aisle of the Abbey. In just three days, they successfully recorded nearly 100 historic ledgerstones, which have been hidden since the 1870s underneath church furniture.
For many of our volunteers, this was the first time they had been involved in this type of project. So before they began work, our volunteers were first trained by the Churches Conservation Trust and learnt some valuable skills and techniques on cleaning, recording and photographing the ledgerstones.
Why the need to record the ledgerstones in the Abbey now?
In July 2013 work began on the Abbey's North aisle floor trial. As part of this, the Victorian pews in this area were temporarily removed to repair the floor. As a result, many of the historic ledgerstones which had previously lain hidden under the Abbey’s 19th century pews were exposed for the first time in 140 years. This presented us with the rare opportunity to fully record these previously unseen ledger stones.
However, once exposed, the ledgerstones would only remain in this area for a short duration before they were being removed in order for vital repair work to the floor took place.
What is happening to the ledgerstones once they have been removed?
The ledger stones will be carefully lifted and stored securely during the work.
We are very grateful to our dedicated team of volunteers - without whom this project wouldn't have happended! We were also delighted to have the expertise of the Churches Conservation Trust to help us with this project.
Dr Neil Rushton, Conservation Project Officer at the Churches Conservation Trust, said: ‘This will give us important insight into the local communities that lived and worked around the Abbey through the ages and ensure the information contained in the artifacts is saved, understood and appreciated.’