Momento Mori: Tombs and Memorials in Cheshire

5 November 2018

An exhibition exploring the commemoration of the dead in Cheshire has opened at Chester’s Grosvenor Museum.  ‘Memento Mori: Tombs and Memorials in Cheshire’ will run until 24 February.  

Councillor Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing, said:  “Throughout time and across cultures, people have felt a powerful need to honour the departed and preserve their memory.  As we today remember the centenary of the end of the Great War, this exhibition presents watercolours, drawings, prints and photographs showing how Cheshire has commemorated its dead from the Romans to the present day.  With tombstones, tomb-chests and mural slabs, public sculptures, cenotaphs and a shrine, the imagery of commemoration ranges across the centuries with knights and their ladies, parents and their children, skeletons and skulls, heraldry, saints and angels.

“We are grateful for the support this exhibition has received from the Megan Gwynne-Jones Charitable Trust, the Grosvenor Museum Society, and the Chester Archaeological Society.”

Clive Pointon, Chairman of the Megan Gwynne-Jones Charitable Trust and head of wills, trusts and tax at Chester law firm Aaron & Partners, said:  “The Trust has funded the conservation of many of the artworks in this exhibition.  We are very pleased to support the Grosvenor Museum in this way, facilitating the long-term care of the collection and enabling the public to enjoy these fascinating pictures.”

Brian Dykes, Chairman of the Grosvenor Museum Society, said:  “The Society is passionately committed to supporting the museum.  We are proud to have funded the restoration of the exhibition gallery and to have helped with the acquisition and conservation of artworks for this exhibition.” 

Janet Axworthy, Chairman of the Chester Archaeological Society, said: “The Society recently donated its collection of Cheshire prints to the Grosvenor Museum, and many of the pictures in the exhibition are drawn from our donation.  We are delighted that our gift is being used in this way, enabling the public to understand and enjoy the riches of Cheshire’s cultural heritage.  This is particularly appropriate since 2019 is an anniversary year for our Society, which was founded in 1849 and began the movement to create the Grosvenor Museum’s internationally important archaeological collections.”

  • Thursday 8 November.  Tour of Overleigh’s Victorian Cemetery with the Guild of Chester Tour Guides.
  • Saturday 10 November.  A Concert of Remembrance in Chester Cathedral.
  • Wednesday 14 November.  Dead Funny comedy night.
  • Thursday 15 November.  Sacrifice, Sorrow and Salvation: The Grosvenor Family, Eaton Hall and the Great War, lecture by Louise Benson.
  • Monday 19 November, Monday 14 January, Friday 15 February.  Tombs and Memorials in Chester Cathedral, tour with Nick Fry.
  • Thursday 22 November.  Funeral Fashions in Britain 1894-1998.
  • Thursday 29 November.  The Medieval Cemeteries of Poulton, lecture by Kevin Cootes.
  • Tuesday 4 December.  The Archaeology of the Walking Dead, lecture by Professor Howard Williams.
  • Wednesday 12 December.  The Roman Way of Death.
  • Tuesday 22 January.  The Victorian Way of Death, lecture by Dr Amanda Draper.
  • Wednesday 30 January.  To Kill a King: The Regicide of Charles I, lecture by Rebecca Rideal.
The Grosvenor Museum is open Monday to Saturday 10.30am to 5pm and Sunday 1pm to 4pm, admission free, donations welcome. Closed 24 to 28 December and 1 January.

Clive Pointon, Councillor Louise Gittins and Brian Dykes
Clive Pointon, Councillor Louise Gittins and Brian Dykes

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