Condition Survey in August 2017 of the alabaster monument and the wall plaque in the Foster chapel.
Cliveden Conservation has carried out a condition survey on the alabaster tomb and the adjacent but unrelated wall plaque. The purpose of the survey is to determine the state of these artefacts and what if any restorative actions are required. This includes analysis of paint which just remains on parts of the tomb. The report is expected in early autumn 2017. The results of the report will be considered within the larger project to restore and rejuvenate the church at its facilities.
Tomb of Sir George Forster (1469-1533) and his wife Elizabeth
One of the outstanding features of Aldermaston’s St Mary’ church is the large, very fine, alabaster tomb under the arch to the side chapel. It commemorates Sir George Forster K.B. and Elizabeth, his wife. Although it has been damaged when the arch above collapsed the figures remain well preserved. Sir George’s armour and his wife’s dress being very accurately and beautifully portrayed. Originally it would have been coloured and gilded. The little dog tugging at Lady Forster’s skirt is interesting and is said to be a sign of fidelity. Below is a series of figures. These may represent the children of Sir George and his wife and possibly other members of the family, or may be simply “weepers”. Traces of colour are still visible here.
The wall plaque is a bit of a mystery. It is thought to be a plaster replica of a wall plaque or an altar front. Probably collected by aristocracy upon their Grand Tour in the 17th and 18th centuries. This is pure conjecture and we await to see if the report provides any further details.