Our Historic Rose Brass has been found
If you are new to Edlesborough Parish or indeed even if you have lived here for some time, you may not know about the Edlesborough Rose. You will however, certainly have seen its image atop our lovely village signs and also part of the Edlesborough School logo which is emblazoned on the children’s jumpers.
The Edlesborough Rose is a unique medieval memorial brass which has been associated with the history of Edlesborough Church for many centuries. It has travelled a bit in its time having had stays in both Pitstone Church and Ashridge House chapel during the 19th & early 20th centuries, and more recently it has languished for 33 years in a bank vault in Bedford where it was taken for safekeeping after the theft of another brass from the church.
As those 33 years ticked by, the memories of those who had placed the brass there or who had been active in the church at that time, grew dim, and when the newly reformed Friends group started to ask, there was no direct answer to the question of the Rose Brass’s whereabouts; hence began a four year Quest to find this precious artifact.
There were many twists and turns with hopes being raised and dashed in those four years. Numerous local people were quizzed and former employees of the Redundant Churches Fund, and current officers of the Churches Conservation Trust that succeeded it, were minutely questioned. Many theories were put forward but one by one they were discounted or brought forth no success. Then, in the autumn of 2016 a new employee arrived at the CCT, a lovely lady called Rachel who, fascinated by ancient churches and always enjoying a good mystery, took it upon herself to delve the depths of the CCT’s archives. Here, with great tenacity and the determination to succeed, she finally found the necessary documents to prove to the Bank that the brass had been lodged with them. Thereafter, it was not exactly plain-sailing but finally in January of this year she was able to reclaim the brass!
The long-term future of this precious item has not been decided, but the Friends of the Church on the Hill hope to bring it home at least for a temporary stay during the Heritage Open Days 7-10 September. More information about our plans and about the brass, its importance and significance, will be made available in Focus and on this website in the intervening months. In the meanwhile let’s rejoice that this important part of our local heritage has been restored to us!