BERESFORD CHAPEL CEILING in St Edmund's, Fenny Bentley
In St Edmund's church the Beresford chapel ceiling above the Beresford tomb is divided into panels which were painted by Miss Alice M.Erskine. Centrally, is the Agnus Dei in glory, attended by angels, and a line of angels extends along the wall plate. Other panels contain the emblems of St.Katharine and St.Anthony, representing the dedication of the original chantry chapel in the reign of Henry VIII. Wooden bosses at the intersections of the panels were carved by the Rector’s village wood-carving class, one showing the date of the work, 1895.
The panels are painted on sheet aluminium. In 1888 the price of aluminium produced at Stoke-on-Trent was £3,000 a ton, with a production rate of about 85 tons a year. With the introduction of the electrolytic process, production by 1896 had increased to over 1,000 tons a year and the price per ton had fallen to about £163.
Fenny Bentley must be one of the very first places to have sheet aluminium used in building - but why this should have been, no-one seems to know.
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