CHANDELIER RESTORATION, ST CLEMENT’S CHURCH, HASTINGS
St. Clements Church in Hastings has re-opened following a major restoration, thanks to a generous legacy from former parishioner Barbara Jordan. The church dates from 1080AD but following an attack by the French, it was rebuilt in 1380AD. Constructed from sandstone, it is a remarkably intact survivor of a late medieval market town church and in 1860, it witnessed the marriage of artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Elizabeth Siddall.
Among many interesting features is a pair of magnificent 18th C brass chandeliers which earlier this year Collier Webb were commissioned to restore and clean, both examples having remained untouched since the 1920’s. They have an interesting history – one was presented by the Hastings Barons of the Cinque Ports who raised the funds for the purchase by selling the canopy and silver staves held above George 111 at his coronation in 1761 and the other was purchased by subscription from the principal Townsmen of Hastings in 1762 and it is engraved with their names and the date.
After inspection and dismantling, a few missing parts were re-cast to match the original items and other pieces that were distorted or bent were reshaped or straightened. Particular care had to be taken because antique brass becomes very brittle with age and fractures or breakages can easily occur when trying to reverse this kind of damage. Finally, the chandeliers were polished and restored to their former glory.
Now reinstated in the nave above a newly laid marble floor, they provide once more an elegant counterpoint to the simple and understated design of the nave.