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A Beautiful Statuette

from The Barwicker No.61
Mar. 2001

This photograph is of a statuette which is at present attached to the vestry wall of the parish church. The story of its rediscovery is told in 'The History of the Parish of Barwick- in-Elmet' by Rev. FS Colman.

"In 1849 it became necessary to provide additional ground for burial. No land could be procured adjoining the churchyard and Miss Gascoigne gave half an acre against the Hall Tower Hill. This was duly consecrated and served the requirements of the parish until 1897, when a further extension was necessary, and a considerable discussion arose on the advisiblity of forming a Burial Board and providing a cemetary on the rates. Ultimately a piece of land was acquired adjoining the churchyard, it contains 2,600 yards (?) and was bought by the Rector out of the capital of the living without any cost to the parish.

The Bishop of Ripon consecrated the new ground on 4th. October 1897. The total cost of this, including purchase of land, building the enclosing wall, charges and fees, was 467.5s.3d. of this, 356.9d.9d. was provided by the Rectory, 50 was given by Colonel Gascoigne, and the remainder by offertories in church, and general subscriptions. In the course of this undertaking some old cottages were pulled down, and in clearing away the foundations there was found, in two pieces, a beautiful statuette of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It stands on a stone bracket, altogether 19.5 inches high, and appears to have formed part of a Calvary or Churchyard Cross."


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