Thanks to old photographs and the skills of an Uckfield stonemason an abandoned memorial to the town’s first rector has been restored.
There’s still a little cleaning work to be done but the Cardale Monument has been moved to a new site at the Victoria Pleasure Ground where people will soon be able to read the inscription from 1894 and get a better idea of how it would have looked in its heyday.
For years the drinking trough has sat half on and half off the car park at the Victoria Ground with parts missing and now Uckfield Town Council is paying for its restoration.
The work has been done by Derek Tourle Memorial Masons with help from the council’s grounds staff who prepared the new site and Grants Contractors, Philip and Tim Grant, who lifted and moved the larger pieces.
There is no water supply to the memorial so it can’t be used as a drinking trough as originally and an iron finial from the early days, which was later replaced by a lamp, isn’t included in the restoration.
The inscription still has to be picked out with new lettering and new joints have to be repointed but soon people will be able to clearly read the words:
Erected by inhabitants of Uckfield in memory of Rev E.T. Cardale
Late Rector of the Parish
The trough commemorates the life of the Rev Edward Thomas Cardale (1810-1893) who was the first Rector of Uckfield when the parish church became a church in its own right in 1839, rather than being a chapel-of-ease to the church at Buxted.
The great and the good were among those attending its unveiling near Bridge Cottage including General George Calvert Clerk, who was present, in charge of the Royal Scots Greys, part of the Heavy Brigade, at the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War who lived in Church Street.
Overall command of the British cavalry at the battle resided with Lieutenant General George Bingham, 3rd Earl of Lucan, who instigated the charge of the Light Brigade, as immortalised in the poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson.
George Bingham’s descendent was the notorious 7th Earl of Lucan who disappeared after last being seen in Grants Hill House in Church Street after his nanny was found murdered in his London flat.
Cornish granite was used to build the memorial but Amanda Tourle from Derek Tourle Memorial Masons said the black flecks in it these days made it too dark to match the original and so the granite was imported from China.
Amanda added: “Once the original parts have been given a good clean they should match well.”
Read more about the history of the Cardale Monument in a story carried on Uckfield News as preparations began to move it to its new site: Work under way at new site for Cardale Monument.