3 October - Archaeology - Mass Dial ?

More inscribed stone from our excavations at Holy Trinity church, Minchinhampton. This time a small fragment with circles and scribed radii. At first glance it looks like a Mass dial, a form of sun dial used to tell time for services, however it is very small and the scratches are very shallow compared to most examples, and there isn't really a hole for the gnomon - the stick that casts the shadow

Chiz Harward BA MCIfA   Urban Archaeology

MassDial

The 6P’s PROJECT goes ahead!

Thank you for the amazing amount of support received in getting the first and biggest phase of this project off the ground. 

 

Project update from the churchwardens

Work started in August with the successful removal of asbestos which had been found located around some of the heating pipes and the boiler. Pew removal and preparation for the installation of the new boiler and heating system follows on. We’re delighted that all of the pews are being re-housed within the Parish including with Minchinhampton Rugby Club, Gatcombe Park and people who have wanted one or two to commemorate a special occasion or as a memory of the church as it was.

As many of you will know there was no floor under the pew platforms, just stone, earth and a void. As Chiz Harward, our archaeologist, established with his trial pits earlier this year the Victorians did a ‘very good job’ in creating a clearly defined square void when they knocked down and cleared most of the medieval church and rebuilt the one we have today. A great deal of material is therefore needed to fill this area and to provide layers of insulation beneath the new heating system. ‘Jupiter’ is the system we have been approved to use. It is very up to date technologically and highly recommended for the preservation of historic buildings with very low levels of heat provided to support buildings that were not built with heating in mind and to combat the damp which is particularly apparent in this one. With this and a modern boiler system we are, in line with the experience of Holy Trinity Church, Bradford-on-Avon, hopeful of much reduced heating bills as well as redecorating costs. The Jupiter system will also contribute to the reduction of the effects of the dampness which is taking the paint off some of the stained glass windows.

The Jupiter system of heating is covered by terracotta tiles: there is therefore no screed required which saves time on drying out. This will enable the church to be opened in time for Christmas, but please do not be alarmed when you see an all red floor! During January and February, stone slabs, matching the current limestone flooring, will be laid with different sections of the church being sectioned off as the work progresses. Easter will see a beautiful stone floor with the feature of the Holy Trinity sign marked out with slightly darker stone in the middle as you walk past the entrance part of the church (the narthex).

 

Chair sponsors - please come forward!

Whether you represent a group, yourself or a local organisation please do think about adding your name, your group’s name or the name of a loved one to those contributing to the new seating in church. We need 300 chairs, 100 have already been delivered. Holy Trinity church building has the largest capacity in this area and, as such, is much sought after for a wide range of musical events, concerts, special services, the hospice, the school, carol services. We hope to build on the community use of this amazing space. Chair sponsorship forms can be picked up from the church office in Butt Street or from the Porch room which is open all day except when events or services are happening.

23 September - Archaeology - More Wall plaster etc

Some more wonderful medieval painted wall plaster from our excavation at the Parish Church. Black lettering, a grey border or dado, and a single fragment with red paint.

Urban Archaeology have today added a short article on the blog explaining a bit of the background to the reordering project. 

Chiz Harward BA MCIfA   Urban Archaeology

WallPlaster2

GreyBorderorDadoFragmentwithRedPaint

22 September - Archaeology - Wall Plaster

Today's stand out find from Holy Trinity church Minchinhampton are these fragments of medieval painted wall plaster. Black painted lettering on white background, with horizontal staves. The letters would probably have been a biblical text, perhaps the Ten Commandments. There is also some grey painted plaster, but nothing to suggest either pictorial scenes, or architectural designs such as lines to suggest ashlar masonry.
Hopefully we will find more of these fragments and perhaps work out a few letters, it will be some jigsaw puzzle though - a tiny fraction of the pieces, and no picture to help us!

Chiz Harward BA MCIfA   Urban Archaeology

WallPlaster

21 September - Archaeology - Milk Bottle Top

Not everything we've been finding under the pews at Holy Trinity Minchinhampton has been cigarette related…there's also evidence of a more wholesome nature like this milk bottle top from the mid twentieth century. We'll try and trace the date of this specific design but it is probably from the early 1950's. Milk in glass bottles with cardboard tops was the norm by the 1920's and 1930's, whilst the cardboard tops were replaced by aluminium foil from the 1950's.
The cardboard bottle top has a perforated flap to push a straw through, tops were produced in a wide variety of designs by different companies and the used tops were used by children to play games, latterly re-emerging as 'Pogs' in the early 1990s.
It would be great to hear from anyone who remembers these cardboard tops -possibly on the free third pint bottle of milk given to schoolchildren.

Chiz Harward BA MCIfA   Urban Archaeology

MilkTop

19 September - Archaeology - Sweet Cigarette Card

This morning's star find at Holy Trinity Church Minchinhampton is another cigarette card, this time squarely aimed at children.
This Barratt & Co card from 1955 is from a pack of 'Mickey's Sweet Cigarettes' featuring Tinker Bell from Disney's Peter Pan, number 32 of a series of 35. You'd have to 'smoke' a lot of sweet cigarettes to get the full set...

Chiz Harward BA MCIfA   Urban Archaeology

Tinkerbell1 Tinkerbell2

18 September - Archaeology - Inscribed Limestone

A beautiful day up at Holy Trinity, Minchinhampton. Inside, the contractors are clearing the last of the timber so the paving slabs can be lifted.
In the rubble and dust under the pews we've found two more pieces of inscribed limestone: a possible consecration cross and another fragment of masons' setting out.
When a church is built or substantially rebuilt it is blessed and consecrated by the Bishop in twelve places around the church. These locations are marked with carved and/or painted consecration crosses. Altar slabs (mensa) also have consecration crosses.

Chiz Harward BA MCIfA   Urban Archaeology

ConsecrationCross MasonsSettingOut

16 September - Archaeology - Cigarette Card

Not everything we're finding under the pews at Holy Trinity church, Minchinhampton, is that old...this cigarette card fell through a crack in the floorboards in the early twentieth century. Cigarette cards stiffened packets of cigarettes and from the late 19th century sets of themed cards were printed, with albums produced for card collectors. No. 42 in a series of 50 cards on 'Celebrated Gateways' this card by John Player and Sons dates from 1909.
Was a worshipper desperate for a cigarette, were children engaging in illicit card swaps during prayers, or did reading about St Laurence's Gate, Drogheda relieve a particularly boring sermon? We will never know!

Chiz Harward BA MCIfA   Urban Archaeology

CigaretteCard1 CigaretteCard2

 

14 September - Archaeology - Mason's Slab

Following with this year's ecclesiastical theme we've just started work today at a new site at the parish church of Holy Trinity in Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire; we're going to be posting a lot more on the project as it progresses, but for the moment here's one of our first findings from beneath the pews….
Scribed into this limestone slab are a series of straight lines and arcs that describe the setting out of the complex tracery design of one of the church windows. The sinuous ogee curve of the tracery can be made out, with arcing cusps which would have formed the pointed tops of the window lights. There are more fragments nearby, so we're hoping to be able to piece together the full design, and will be checking to see if it matches any of the surviving medieval tracery.
We're not yet sure whether this setting out dates from the medieval church, or from a major rebuild in 1842, but either way it is a rare insight into the thought process of the mason, and a reminder of the geometry that lies behind window tracery.

Chiz Harward BA MCIfA   Urban Archaeology

Masons slab

 

12 September 2017 - Work gets underway with removal of pews etc

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21 August 2017 - Removal of Asbestos Begins

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20 August 2017 - Pews last Sunday

Photographs taken during the last Sung Eucharist to take place before work to reorder the church building gets underway can be seen here

7 April 2017 - Faculty for Re-ordering of Parish Church submitted

A formal application for a faculty was submitted to the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) for consideration on or about 7 April. The main documents can be downloaded (see below) and in addition there are a series of drawings which have been on display in the Parish Church over recent months. We are now pleased to say that the Faculty has been granted and work on the re-ordering is to commence on Monday 21 August. Your support over the past months and the coming weeks and months is greatly appreciated.

Statement of Need

Holy Trinity Church, Minchinhampton Design Statement

Holy Trinity Church Outline Technical Specification

Statement of Significance produced by Chiz Harward BA MlfA.  (This is a large file and will take a little while to download)

Archaeological Evaluation Report by Chiz Harward BA MlfA

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