Damaged Kenilworth memorial repaired by funeral directors

A Kenilworth memorial to 17th Century paupers is back on Warwick Road after being removed and restored by Henry Ison and Sons Funeral Directors.

The funeral director’s mason G H Davies and Son Shrewsbury found the memorial named Betsy’s Grave was hit with such force that its ground anchor – a metal anti-vandalism bar running 18 inches into the ground – burst through the back of the sandstone.

G H Davies and Son replaced the anchor in accordance with modern safety standards and carved the damaged stone into formation, as the broken-off fragments couldn’t be found.

Betsy’s Grave marks where paupers’ bodies were left by the neighbouring parish of Leek Wootton which was unwilling to pay for their funerals in the 17th Century.

The memorial was untouched until a plaque donated by Henry Ison and Sons marked it as Betsy’s Grave in 2011. This has been polished and sandblasted by G H Davies and Son to reveal the inscription once more.

Elizabeth Armstrong, funeral director at Henry Ison and Sons, said: “Wherever possible Henry Ison & Sons gets involved with the local community and we’re pleased the new grave helps maintain Kenilworth’s history.

“The work done means this historical landmark does not disappear with age and we feel privileged to have been asked by the council to help.”

Guy Wright, Mason at G H Davies and Son, added: “There are lots of new projects in Kenilworth and people tend to forget old architecture, so it’s great to restore something with heritage as Henry Ison & Sons’ dedicated mason.”

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