About the project

The roof bosses in St Mary’s Church are the focus of our current National Lottery Heritage Fund project, Curious Carvings: Preserved and Interpreted.

There are almost 700 roof bosses in St Mary’s. These remarkable carvings are a vibrant visual record of the lives, hopes and dreams of our medieval and Tudor ancestors – a way of storytelling without words.

Until recently the future of these amazing carvings was in doubt. Areas of the church’s stonework is in a desperate state of repair, and the bosses were particularly at risk due to crumbling stonework in the north nave clerestory. In Spring 2019, St Mary’s was awarded a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Thanks to this grant, essential repairs have been carried out at the church and this amazing heritage has been preserved for future generations.

This project has also included conducting new research on St Mary’s roof bosses. The findings from this research are shared through the Curious Carvings database, which will continue to grow and develop over the coming months and years.