Sir Henry Havelock Memorial

The Sir Henry Havelock memorial was erected in 1894 and commemorates the British General Sir Henry Havelock and other men from the Charterhouse who died in the Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny and other campaigns. Eight different materials have been used in its construction. Slate has been used for the fifteen panels which provide a smooth background for the applied decoration of gold leaf, painted design and lettering. Eight of these slates have further circular slates that are placed centrally in each panel, these are decorated with heraldic designs. The positioning of these circular slates create a cross design in the memorial. Alabaster forms the main framework, the crest and two side consoles. Red marble frames the enire fifteen panels and a green marble shelf sits below. A black marble sits directly underneath and also frames an incised white marble inscription that reads, “Thou therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Christ”.  The plinth is a fossilised limestone and the step from the floor is a grey and pink marble.

 

Although structurally sound the memorial was found in a poor condition. Areas of loss were found on the crest and alabaster framework. The alabaster framework had suffered deterioration and was crumbling in part due to historic water ingress. Previous fills were found to be dirty and degraded. Much of the decoration on the framework and other surrounding areas were missing. The lettering on the fifteen decorated slate panels had suffered and many words were missing and/or indecipherable.

 

          

Investigations into the decoration of the memorial revealed that the alabaster mouldings and the background of the consoles were originally gilt. Paint samples were taken and analysed to ascertain if any works had been overpainted during its history. These investigations also revealed that the lettering on two panels were carried out using a blue paint, whereas most of the other lettering was black. This still remains a mystery.

 

Careful consdieration was given to the extent of restoration applied to the monument, we concluded that due to the importance of the information written on the monument all fifteen panels were to be reinstated. Prior to the work being carried out all information was retrieved and resreach carried out to determine missing lettering. The original decoration on the fifteen panels was consolidated and the reinstatement commenced. After the application of the gold leaf on the panel background a part of the original design intention became apparent, the panels without a small circular plaque formed a cross.

After all other works on monument were carried out the reinstatement of the lettering and designs went ahead following the style of the original signwriter to produce a faithful representation.

This monument was restored as part of a new development at the Charterhouse , London and on the 28th February 2017 Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh paid a visit to view the new museum which this and other monuments in the chapel cloister form a part. The official visit can be viewed here.

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