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York Civic Trust

City Enhancement Fund: The Rigg Family and their Monument


The Rigg monument after restoration, re-dedicated by the Archbishop of York on 11 March 2017

The monument to the Rigg family, in St Lawrence's churchyard - before restoration
The Civic Trust is delighted that funds are being raised to renovate the monument in St Lawrence's churchyard to the Rigg family, which has become very worn and battered. 
Six members of the family died in August 1830 in a boating accident on the Ouse, the oldest not yet 20.  An 18 year old family friend also drowned; their pleasure boat was hit by a keel, the James and Henry.  The disaster roused national interest and a monument was placed in the churchyard where they were buried.  Mr Rigg was a nurseryman in Fulford Road.  Here is an extract from the newspaper report of 21 August 1830, which reported the accident and the inquest.

 Download the Rigg Report

At this link to SpaceHive.you can see St Lawrence's churchyard and hear David Grant of the Trust talk about the project
On 12 July work commenced, after six months awaiting the necessary approvals. 
Following removal of the pitched slabs it was found that the supporting spine and edge brickwork needed a fair degree of work to 'stiffen it up' to enable the slabs and stone plinths to be reinstated. 
25 July: the pitched flagstones and plinth to the south elevation had been replaced by contractor  Matthias Garn.
28 July: the masonry to the north elevation was in place.
1 August: masonry work complete and a start made on the sandstone and marble surrounds.  The repair and pointing of brickwork surround should also commence.
11 March 2017: the monument is re-dedicated in a service at St Lawrence's church by the Archbishop of York

It is pleasing that the majority of existing stonework has been re-used, although it was found that the front plinth supporting the railings was beyond economical repair.  So it has been replaced with new Stanton Moor sandstone from Holmfirth and the damaged stone has been dressed for use as edgings to the plinths.
The ironwork has been taken to the workshop of Barker and Patterson in Hull for assessment and renovation.  Some of the spindles have wasted to the degree of being sourced for replacement.  This is taking a little longer as it is a nonstandard thickness of 40mm.

Community Support - The congregation of St Lawrence Church are most supportive of the project, not least in their supply of coffee and cake!  We are hopeful of completion in the autumn.

Nick Bielby, Trust member and project leader
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