A little while ago I did my first Tombstone Tuesday, showing the Table Top Tomb of my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read and went on to describe how I had been informed that his tomb had collapsed and that I was concerned the pieces would be thrown away etc.. I also mentioned that I was looking into obtaining grants for restoration of this tomb, but they take forever to make their decisions.
A couple of days ago I received a photo from my cousins in Australia. Bob and Pam had been on a holiday taking in some family history research at Lower Winchendon, Buckinghamshire and took this photo of the collapsed tomb.
and the full view photograph
While I was extremely surprised but relieved that this was not the Table Top Tomb of Cozens Read and his wife Elizabeth Shirley, I was still very saddened by the sight of it and immediately knew that it was the tomb for Cozens and Elizabeth’s son William Read. The tomb holds William (1736-1803); his wife Mary Pollard (1742-1821); their daughter Mary (1783-1850) and their daughter Mary’s husband John Moores (1783-1855). (Cozens Read’s Table Top Tomb can be seen through the fencing that is now surrounding the collapsed tomb).
My partner Paul and I had visited this church in 2000 and 2004 and took various photos of the graves there and we realise now that the reason for the collapse of this tomb is obviously through a tree that was growing up from inside it. Some of the following photos taken in 2004 show what was happening then and so Paul cut the branches back and we tidied the Table Top Tomb up as much as we could.
The following photos show the state the tomb was in and the tree roots and branches quite obviously did most of the damage which resulted in its collapse a few years later!
I will continue trying to find out what grants and help is available for trying to restore this tomb, but somehow don’t think we would ever be able to get it back like it once was.
Luckily on our visits in 2000 and 2004 I was able to take a transcript of the details engraved all around William, Mary, Mary and John’s tomb. From the bits that have been laid flat as can be seen in the top photo, I think most of the engraving will have been more or less completely ruined. I’m so glad that I have a record of it.