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Altarpiece design thought to be by Hardy discovered behind church panelling

19 August 2016


A DESIGN for a decorative altarpiece, believed to be by Thomas Hardy, has been discovered behind panelling at All Saints’, Windsor. The altarpiece was found when two churchgoers, Stuart Tunstall and Don Church, went in search of the church’s foundation stone.

Mr Tunstall told The Guardian that he had found it after shining a light behind wooden panelling behind the altar. The altarstone resembled the design (pictured) hanging at the back of the church, known to have been produced by Hardy.

The author, who trained as an architect, worked as a draughtsman on a number of designs for churches in the 1860s. His work was among a collection of designs found behind the organ of the church in the 1970s. It was believed that none of the designs had been brought to life.

Mr Tunstall gave a presentation about the finding to the Thomas Hardy Society’s conference this month. All Saints’ is now seeking to raise £9000 to remove the panelling and restore the altarpiece. “It’s every little boy and little girl’s dream, to discover hidden treasure,” Mr Tunstall said.


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