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Monument to Sarah and John Wheatly, East Enclosure

A Grade II* Listed Building in Islington, London

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.5237 / 51°31'25"N

Longitude: -0.0882 / 0°5'17"W

OS Eastings: 532726

OS Northings: 182263

OS Grid: TQ327822

Mapcode National: GBR S7.BZ

Mapcode Global: VHGQT.FY6T

Entry Name: Monument to Sarah and John Wheatly, East Enclosure

Listing Date: 21 February 2011

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1396515

English Heritage Legacy ID: 508547

Location: Islington, London, EC1Y

County: London

District: Islington

Electoral Ward/Division: Bunhill

Built-Up Area: Islington

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St Giles Cripplegate

Church of England Diocese: London

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Listing Text


635-1/0/10212 BUNHILL FIELDS BURIAL GROUND
21-FEB-11 Monument to Sarah and John Wheatly, Ea
st Enclosure

GV II*
Headstone of Sarah and John Wheatly, 1790, by J Winfield of Wymeswold

LOCATION: 532726.4, 182263.1

MATERIAL: Swithland slate

DESCRIPTION: The monument is an upright slate slab with a shaped top. At the top is an inset roundel containing various funereal emblems carved in relief: a naked human figure bearing a scroll marked 'Ashes to Ashes' contemplates a flaming urn marked 'Dust to Dust' and a skull marked 'Mortality'. He stands atop a globe bearing a text from Shakespeare's Tempest: 'The great Globe itself - shall dissolve, &c. &c.' On the left is a snuffed-out candle, and at the base a crucifix and an anchor, representing faith and hope respectively. The roundel is surrounded by incised ornament (an urn above, and scrolls, garlands and plant tendrils below and to either side) which runs down to form a decorative border around the main text. The heading ('In Memory of...') is carved in Gothic script with elaborate scrollwork. Below are epitaphs to Sarah Wheatly (d.1790) and her husband John (d.1823), set side by side in two columns. Sarah's epitaph (right-hand column) features a variety of ornamental scripts and a short devotional verse, while her husband's (left-hand column) is far shorter and simpler. At the base, beneath a garlanded urn, is the sculptor's signature: 'J Winfield / Wimeswould Leicestershire / Sculpsit.'

HISTORY: The Winfields of Wymeswold, Leicestershire were a noted family of C18 memorial sculptors, working mainly in the local Swithland slate. A number of their tombs survive in the Charnwood Forest area, including several Grade II listed examples in the churchyards at Stanton on the Wolds and Upper Broughton, Nottinghamshire (q.v.). Slate from the Midlands began to be available for use in London in the later C18 due to the growth of the canal network.

Bunhill Fields was first enclosed as a burial ground in 1665. Thanks to its location just outside the City boundary, and its independence from any Established place of worship, it became London's principal Nonconformist cemetery, the burial place of John Bunyan, Daniel Defoe, William Blake and other leading religious and intellectual figures. It was closed for burials in 1853, laid out as a public park in 1867, and re-landscaped following war damage by Bridgewater and Shepheard in 1964-5.

SOURCES: Corporation of London, A History of the Bunhill Fields Burial Ground (1902).
A W Light, Bunhill Fields (London, 1915).
Albert Herbert, 'Swithland Slate Headstones', Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society, vol.XXII pt.3 (1941-2).

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The monument to Sarah and John Wheatly is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* It is an exceptionally well preserved late-C18 headstone, with decorative lettering and carving of excellent quality.
* It demonstrates, in the contrast between the allegorical roundel and the incised carving on the body of the slab, the coexistence of the relatively naïve figurative traditions of earlier centuries with the more sophisticated Neoclassical decoration of the late Georgian period.
* It is a rare London example of the work of a leading Midlands family of sculptors, showing the increased moveability of goods and materials resulting from the expansion of the canal network.
* It is located within the Grade I registered Bunhill Fields Burial Ground (q.v.), and has group value with the other listed tombs in the east enclosure.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

Description


635-1/0/10212 BUNHILL FIELDS BURIAL GROUND
21-FEB-11 Monument to Sarah and John Wheatly, Ea
st Enclosure

GV II*
Headstone of Sarah and John Wheatly, 1790, by J Winfield of Wymeswold

LOCATION: 532726.4, 182263.1

MATERIAL: Swithland slate

DESCRIPTION: The monument is an upright slate slab with a shaped top. At the top is an inset roundel containing various funereal emblems carved in relief: a naked human figure bearing a scroll marked 'Ashes to Ashes' contemplates a flaming urn marked 'Dust to Dust' and a skull marked 'Mortality'. He stands atop a globe bearing a text from Shakespeare's Tempest: 'The great Globe itself - shall dissolve, &c. &c.' On the left is a snuffed-out candle, and at the base a crucifix and an anchor, representing faith and hope respectively. The roundel is surrounded by incised ornament (an urn above, and scrolls, garlands and plant tendrils below and to either side) which runs down to form a decorative border around the main text. The heading ('In Memory of...') is carved in Gothic script with elaborate scrollwork. Below are epitaphs to Sarah Wheatly (d.1790) and her husband John (d.1823), set side by side in two columns. Sarah's epitaph (right-hand column) features a variety of ornamental scripts and a short devotional verse, while her husband's (left-hand column) is far shorter and simpler. At the base, beneath a garlanded urn, is the sculptor's signature: 'J Winfield / Wimeswould Leicestershire / Sculpsit.'

HISTORY: The Winfields of Wymeswold, Leicestershire were a noted family of C18 memorial sculptors, working mainly in the local Swithland slate. A number of their tombs survive in the Charnwood Forest area, including several Grade II listed examples in the churchyards at Stanton on the Wolds and Upper Broughton, Nottinghamshire (q.v.). Slate from the Midlands began to be available for use in London in the later C18 due to the growth of the canal network.

Bunhill Fields was first enclosed as a burial ground in 1665. Thanks to its location just outside the City boundary, and its independence from any Established place of worship, it became London's principal Nonconformist cemetery, the burial place of John Bunyan, Daniel Defoe, William Blake and other leading religious and intellectual figures. It was closed for burials in 1853, laid out as a public park in 1867, and re-landscaped following war damage by Bridgewater and Shepheard in 1964-5.

SOURCES: Corporation of London, A History of the Bunhill Fields Burial Ground (1902).
A W Light, Bunhill Fields (London, 1915).
Albert Herbert, 'Swithland Slate Headstones', Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society, vol.XXII pt.3 (1941-2).

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The monument to Sarah and John Wheatly is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* It is an exceptionally well preserved late-C18 headstone, with decorative lettering and carving of excellent quality.
* It demonstrates, in the contrast between the allegorical roundel and the incised carving on the body of the slab, the coexistence of the relatively naïve figurative traditions of earlier centuries with the more sophisticated Neoclassical decoration of the late Georgian period.
* It is a rare London example of the work of a leading Midlands family of sculptors, showing the increased moveability of goods and materials resulting from the expansion of the canal network.
* It is located within the Grade I registered Bunhill Fields Burial Ground (q.v.), and has group value with the other listed tombs in the east enclosure.

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