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Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Winster memorial

I have my favourite memorials and I guess this is close to being the best.

Designed by Mary Kynaston Watts-Jones (1879-1951), wife of Captain Hector Lloyd Watts-Jones R.N., of 'Canon Hey', Windermere, this splendid cross is interestering in a number of respects. When a faculty was first applied for at the consistory court at Carlisle it was refused with the observation that it too closely resembled a tombola! It is also slightly unusual in that the designers name is inscribed on the base of the memorial, in general it was a matter of principle that only the names of those who served or died should be inscribed on a cross.

Mrs Watts Jones unveiled the memorial herself in October 1920 and she is also buried beside it.

Originally it was higher but some years ago the branch of a tree fell and broke the shaft leaving the restored cross looking rather truncated.

Two of those named on the memorial, Capt William Higgin-Birkett of Birkett Houses & Lt Joseph Holt of Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, are also commemorated by imposing and decorative plaques in the church. That for Holt was created by Harold Stabler.

There is some thought in the village that Mrs Watts-Jones, nee Potter, was related to Beatrix. Though I have made an attempt to connect them I can find no relationship. Neither can I discover a reason why she should have been the designer of the memorial, or anything in her background to suggest a training in design. Perhaps she was a friend of the Holts or Higgin Birketts.

It is a spectacular place in early spring when the churchyard is entirely covered with daffodils, a beautiful sight.

2 comments:

Jasperhound said...
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Simon Potter said...

Mary Kynston Potter was a recognised sculptor.
She was the daughter of Edmund Peel Potter who was the first cousin of Rupert Potter, Beatrix's father.
Mary was married to Hector Watts-Jones and lived on Lake Windermere.