A 500-year-old statue of a pelican has returned to the top of the King’s School after a Grantham Masonic Lodge made a donation to help restore it.
After almost half a millennium of weathering, the statue had lost its head and suffered a lot of wear and tear. The Sir Isaac Newton Masonic Lodge of Grantham originally applied to the Masonic Province of Lincolnshire for a donation to help the school with the restoration of the library roof. As the roof appeal had already been successful, it was decided a donation could help with the restoration of the pelican finial on the western apex of the roof.
The finial has been restored with a new head thanks to a donation of £1,000 from the Masons. When the building was erected in 1528, the finial took the form of a pelican ‘in her piety’, supposedly feeding her three chicks with blood from her breast. This represented the armorial device on Bishop Richard Foxe’s coat of arms. It was the bishop who built and endowed the building.
The refurbished sculpture was delivered to the school last week and presented to Headteacher Frank Hedley by Master of the Sir Isaac Newton Lodge, Worshipful Brother Andrew Watson, accompanied by Brother James Wiggins, in a small ceremony before the finial was placed on the roof.
Mr Hedley said: “The school is delighted to have had financial support from the Sir Isaac Newton Lodge which has enabled us to complete our refurbishment of the Old School building by having the historic stone pelican restored. We are also delighted with the quality of the restoration work completed by Weldon Stone.”