The restoration of the 6th Earl's urn

After many years of neglect, an urn which was erected as a memorial to George William 6th Earl of Coventry, proudly stands in the parkland at Croome.

Thanks to visitors purchasing raffle tickets we have been able to raise funds towards the restoration of this important piece of Croome’s history.

Over the years, the 6th Earl’s Urn succumbed to the elements with the whole urn falling from the pedestal on which it once sat in the Home Shrubbery.   

Pieces of the 6th Earl's urn before conservation
pieces of stone from a broken urn

We started work in in 2007 and found the urn in pieces at the base of the pedestal hidden amongst the undergrowth.  Cliveden Conservation were commissioned to undertake the intricate restoration project. 

The ‘socle’ (the neck or stand) on which the urn sits was damaged but has been carefully set back together.  It was possible to rescue, marry together and re-use many fragments of the urns lower and upper bowl sections, but some missing sections had to be hand carved using oolitic limestone from Bath.

Work starts to restore the 6th Earl's urn
man working to restore broken urn

Details for the entirely missing lid and finial were built up using historic illustrations from William Kent’s initial designs for spiral urns together with details collected from the Pope Urn at Croome.  The urn has been re-set with a central stainless steel dowel with traditional lime bound mortars used for the repairs.

William Kent illustrations of stone urns
historic image of stone urns

An inscription panel on the urn itself can just be read ‘In memory of, G William Coventry’.

We are now hoping to raise further funds from raffle ticket sales to continue the restoration to re-instate a larger plaque which was once on the pedestal but now completely missing.  No fragments have been found of this plaque however, the wording is known from an early 19th century guidebook to Croome.

" “It’s wonderful to see the 6th Earl’s urn - which I last saw in about 50 pieces – repaired and back on its pedestal in the Home Shrubbery. The 6th Earl created the beautiful landscape at Croome in the 1700s and it is right that this memorial to him is back on display” "
- Katherine Alker, Croome’s Garden and Park Manager
Katherine Alker our Garden and Park Manager with the restored urn
katherine alker with restored urn

If you would like to contribute towards this on-going restoration project, raffle tickets are available at our Visitor Centre - for every £1 ticket purchased Croome receives an additional £1 from the National Trust's central funds.