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Monument commemorating prominent Norwich couple uncovered at medieval church

PUBLISHED: 15:05 08 November 2018 | UPDATED: 15:05 08 November 2018

Statues of Richard Berney and Elizabeth Hobart at St Peter Parmentergate, King Street, Norwich. 
Photo: Andy Darnell

Statues of Richard Berney and Elizabeth Hobart at St Peter Parmentergate, King Street, Norwich. Photo: Andy Darnell

Archant © 2007

Visitors will get the chance to see a recently-uncovered 17th century monument dedicated to a prominent Norwich couple.

Statues of Richard Berney and Elizabeth Hobart. Photo: Andy DarnellStatues of Richard Berney and Elizabeth Hobart. Photo: Andy Darnell

Norwich Historic Churches Trust (NHCT) volunteers at St Peter Parmentergate Church, in King Street, Norwich, removed the wooden case surrounding the Berney-Hobart monument, which was installed to provide protection whilst the church was being used as a martial arts academy.

The monument was built in 1623 and is a rare example of a plaster monument which was built on a wooden frame and painted to look like stone.

The figures commemorate Richard Berney and his wife Elizabeth Hobart who lived on King Street, and whose families formed important Norfolk Dynasties.

Elizabeth Hobart is a direct descendant of Sir James Hobart, the Attorney General to Henry VII, who is buried in Norwich Cathedral, while her cousin Sir Henry Hobart was Attorney General and MP for Norwich.

Crest of Richard Berney and Elizabeth Hobart at St Peter Parmentergate, King Street, Norwich. 
Photo: Andy DarnellCrest of Richard Berney and Elizabeth Hobart at St Peter Parmentergate, King Street, Norwich. Photo: Andy Darnell

The church is managed by NHCT, which cares for and maintains 17 other Grade I listed medieval churches in Norwich that are no longer used for religious worship.

NHCT and volunteers will be opening the church to the public and providing information about its history whilst preparations are made for a new tenant.

Visitors can access the building on Wednesday lunchtimes from November 14 until December 5, 11am – 2pm.

Other sights include the surviving medieval carving set in the chancel stalls and the colourful ornamental screen depicting the last supper given in 1889 by Vicar William Hudson in memory of his wife.

Conservation manager, Mark Wilson, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for visitors to explore one of Norwich’s beautiful medieval churches.

“We’re delighted to remove the protective panelling from the Berney monument so that this rare and important example can once again be viewed in its full splendour.

“The trust is able to operate by finding new uses for medieval churches, which sadly means they are not always open for viewing.

“We hope lots of people will take the opportunity to have a look around during extra opening hours.

“Thank you to our fantastic team of volunteers for making this possible.”

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