Plaque remembers pioneering vicar

Unveiling of William Stukeley plaque at 16 Barn Hill Stamford. By Lee Hellwing.
Unveiling of William Stukeley plaque at 16 Barn Hill Stamford. By Lee Hellwing.

A plaque commemorating a vicar who pioneered archaeological investigation of Stonehenge has been mounted outside a Stamford woman’s home.

Antiquarian and clergyman William Stukeley used 16 Barn Hill in Stamford as his vicarage when he was the priest at All Saints’ Church, Stamford between 1730 and 1747 and it is now the home of Glenda Parsley who has lived there for 58 years.

Today (August 2), a plaque commemorating Mr Stukeley was unveiled outside the Grade II* listed building, much to the delight of Glenda who has been desperate to install one in order to remind residents and visitors to Stamford about one of the town’s most famous residents.

Among those attending the event were Glenda’s friends, her family, and the mayor and mayoress of Stamford, Tony and Valerie Story.

Glenda, who formerly owned the Central Cafe tearoom in Stamford with her late husband Derek. was able to install the plaque with the help of her second cousin Tina Garratt, a London-based historic building consultant who helped source the materials for the cast-bronze plaque and apply for planning permission to mount it.

Glenda, 83, said: “I feel really happy about it. I know a lot of people in Stamford will be too.

“If it hadn’t of been for Tina, I wouldn’t have got it.”

Tina said it is “brilliant” that the plaque had been installed and it had been the culmination of hard work.

As well as using 16 Barn Hill as his vicarage, while Mr Stukeley was in Stamford he lived at two different homes.

One of them was at number nine Barn Hill where a blue plaque provided by Stamford Civic Society was placed to commemorate him in 2011.

Mr Stukeley conducted what is recognised as the first high quality archaeology in Britain and is one of the first to attempt to date Stonehenge.

His work on Stonehenge was published in 1740 and 1743 and he was the first to recognise the alignment of the monument to the solstices.