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The newly restored statue of Nathaniel Ireson is being unveiled on Monday

Saturday 14 December 2019, 19:03
By Peter Fitzgerald

The newly restored statue of Nethaniel Ireson in the grounds of Wincanton Parish Church, still covered

On Monday 16th December at 11am, the Mayor of Wincanton will be unveiling the newly restored statue of Nathaniel Ireson in the grounds of the Parish Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Church Street. Everyone is welcome.

Nathaniel Ireson has probably had more influence on Wincanton than any other individual. Apprenticed with the brothers Smith of Warwick he specialised in designing buildings in the Baroque style.

In Wincanton he is thought to have designed his own Ireson House, The White Horse, the south aisle of St. Peter & St. Paul's Church, Rodber House, Rockfield House on North Street, The Greyhound, Hillside House, The Dolphin and Clementina.

Ireson was familiar with the Palladian style, too, and was the master builder who erected Stourhead. Among many houses that he built, perhaps the best known are Ven in Milborne Port, Crowcombe Court in the Quantocks and Lydiard Tregoze near Swindon.

He also opened a delftware factory in Wincanton in the 1730s which lasted till about 1755. Wincanton delft is very collectable; sometimes fetching several hundred pounds.

Ireson erected this monument for himself and his family, most of whom were buried nearby. It has been weathered over the years, but also subject to occasional vandalism. On several occasions the statue's head has been knocked off and reattached; the last time about 8-10 years ago, since which it has been stored in the Church vestry awaiting repair. This time, not only has the head been reattached, work has also been done to accentuate the worn features.

Peter Fitzgerald's book, Nathaniel Ireson of Wincanton, will be on sale at the unveiling.


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