Buckland Beacon’s Ten Commandment Stones restored to former glory

Recarving the stonesThanks to a Parishscapes grant and funding from the Dartmoor Communities Fund, the community of Buckland in the moor have been able to restore the Ten Commandment Stones monument on Buckland Beacon.   The work has just been completed, having been carried out in two phases by Bath-based conservator and lettering expert Iain Cotton and his team.

The first phase, completed in late May, saw the stones cleaned and wrapped in preparation for the restoration work to commence. The second phase of the process saw further careful cleaning before some of the lettering was re-carved to bring it back to legibility. Finally, the lettering was painted with a specially designed black paint suitable for use at high altitude and exposed weather conditions.      

The monument was created in 1928 to celebrate the rejection by parliament of the proposed new book of common prayer.  The Lord of Buckland, Mr. William Whitely of Wellstor appointed stonemason Mr. WA Clement to undertake the work, which was started on 23rd July 1928 and finished by August of the same year. Mr. Clement, who came from Exmouth, is reputed to have lived on site in a shepherds hut in order to complete the work which consisted of cutting over 1500 letters into the hard moorland stone.

Made up of two tablets of natural granite, the monument displays the commandments, a favourite saying of Mr. Whitley’s and the dates when the Bill was read out in parliament.  

Community Heritage Officer Emma Stockley who leads Parishscapes explains: ‘this project has been a few years in the making and I’m absolutely delighted that the monument has now been brought back to its former glory. The local community have been hugely supportive of this project and have worked hard to make it a reality.’  

Now that the work is complete, the site will be monitored by National Park Archaeologists and any deterioration will be managed by the National Park Authority’s Conservation Works Team.

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Last update: 06 Jul 2017 4:42pm