A little light on a mystery.

One of the Scott-designed lanterns

More information to bring you about the two gothic-styled lanterns l saw in the chapel at the Bath Abbey Cemetery at Widcombe. They were labeled as designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott – a great fan of gothic architecture during the Victorian period and the man who did the last major ‘restoration’ at the Abbey from 1860 to 1870 which included the fan vaulting over the nave. Sir George – who was knighted for his design for the Albert Memorial – started to repair the West Front but ran out of money. However, in addition to re-placing the top two angel’s heads he expressed his love for things mediaeval by adding the lanterns to shine a little extra light on the world.

According to Dr Lucy Rutherford, Archivist to the Abbey, the lanterns were commissioned by Scott and made by Francis Skidmore of Coventry. The lanterns used to hang outside the north-west door – now the main entrance to the church.

Dr Rutherford says as part of ongoing work for the Abbey Development project, a conservation survey of all the collections will be commissioned so the lanterns will be top of the list for conservation and possible display. That – for me – is great news!