Preserved in Stone
THE FRAGILE MONUMENTS OF GLASSMAKERS
Memorials to some of the people who made Stourbridge the global centre of glassmaking can be found in local churchyards. Many of these poignant and fragile monuments are falling into decay so visit them soon.
The oldest monuments are located at St Mary’s, Old Swinford. Two early nineteenth-century stones close by the main entrance commemorate members of the Batchelor family. The Batchelors were amongst a first generation of English glassmakers who married into, and inherited from, the original Huguenot craftsmen (in their case the Henzeys) of the seventeenth century.
On the opposite side of the church is a veritable ‘townscape’ of later monuments marking where the great, good and rich of Stourbridge – including glassmakers - were interred. The adjacent ‘chest tombs’ of the Grazebrook and Littlewood families demonstrate the assault from destruction that make their long-term survival doubtful – overwhelming vegetation, smashed stones from attempts to prise the grave open and an inappropriate restoration that involved laying the stones flat.
KEYWORDS: Glass, Glass Maker, Stourbridge, MemorialsDownload the Full Article (PDF)