Queen helps save Sidmouth church window gifted by ancestor
PUBLISHED: 06:30 01 October 2016
The Queen has honoured Sidmouth Parish Church with a donation to restore a window gifted to the people of the town by her great-great-grandmother 150 years ago.
With the support of Her Majesty, grants, other donations - and £20,000 from the Sid Vale Association’s Keith Owen Fund – nearly £30,000 has been raised so far.
Cash has also been allocated from the general church income, but another £15,000 is needed to complete the £70,000 project.
Queen Victoria paid for the installation and dedication of the beautiful window, above the west door, in memory of her father, Edward, Duke of Kent, who died in Sidmouth.
Cracks in the stonework now threaten the intricate stained-glass panels. Wind and rain penetrate between the glass and stone, requiring its urgent renewal.
Work is now under way to preserve the window and leaflets are on display in the church for further donations to be made.
Churchwarden Professor Brian Golding said: “The church is very grateful to Her Majesty the Queen and to the many other donors who have contributed to the preservation of the Queen’s Window.
“We have so far received donations and promises amounting to almost half of the £70,000 cost of the work. Together with reserves allocated from general church income, that leaves us £15,000 to raise to complete the work.”
Church leaders have been asked by Queen Elizabeth II’s equerry not to disclose the value of Her Majesty’s donation.
Queen Victoria was approached in 1860 when the parish church, which dates back to the 15th century, was being rebuilt. She had been visiting Sidmouth as a baby in 1820 when her father, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, died from pneumonia.
The window was installed in 1866 and was designed by Henry Hughes of Ward and Hughes, of London.
It is accompanied by a Latin inscription which translates: “To her father Edward Duke of Kent who, when formerly sojourning at this place, was taken away in the midst of his deed of kindness before she has learnt to know him, his only daughter Victoria, Queen of Britain.”