Sir John St. John Monument
In 1634, Sir John commissioned a splendid eight-poster tomb to himself and his two wives. In order to make it fit, the South Chapel had to be reconfigured. The monument’s exceptionally fine and delicate craftsmanship is attributed to Samuel Baldwin, a highly regarded stone-carver from Gloucester.
On Sir John’s right, we see his first wife Anne (Leighton), holding a baby. She was to die after giving childbirth. On his left lies his second wife Margaret (Lady Grobham). Surviving sons kneel at their heads, daughters at their feet. Children who did not survive infancy are shown beneath. In pride of place above the decorative canopy is the St. John family emblem – a falcon. You can see numerous St. John falcons in both the Church and Lydiard House.
In 1970, disaster struck when iron cramps gave way and the canopy, complete with falcon, came crashing down inside the monument. Major work followed which saw the whole monument being taken apart and re-erected on a damp-proof base. An exciting discovery made at the time was that the railings around the monument had originally been a vivid blue, now restored, rather than the uniform brown which was introduced into the church in Victorian times.