The colourful Queen Anne Royal Arms in St Laurence Church, Hougham near Dover, have been restored, thanks to a community grant from The Rochester Bridge Trust.
St Laurence Church is a Grade 1 listed building with 12th-century origins and Victorian alterations. The Queen Anne Arms, displayed on the north wall of the north aisle, date from the first five years of her reign before the 1707 Act of Union and celebrate her position solely as Queen of England.
Tom Organ and specialists from The Wall Paintings Workshop in Faversham completed the conservation and restoration project. Cleaning, removing darkened varnish, and repairs were undertaken in the church to avoid the oil paintings, wood panels and supports suffering further stress from temperature fluctuations. Once completed, the refurbished Royal Arms were secured in their original position with additional space created between the woodwork and the wall to enable air to circulate.
Churchwarden Theda Mulloy said: “We are delighted to have been able to restore and conserve the Queen Anne Arms. Visitors for years to come will be able to enjoy the rich colours and the intricacies of the historic painting which had become so dulled with age. St Laurence is a beautiful church which regularly attracts visitors and there is a list of key holders posted outside for people wishing to see the interior.”
The Rochester Bridge Trust, one of the oldest independent charities in the country, regularly awards discretionary grants towards the conservation of significant historic buildings across the county.