Conserving Comper’s Reredos

A seminar about the restoration of Sir Ninian Comper’s very first Church project

Friday 1st December 2023 at 1.30 p.m

Since mid-September conservators from Hirst Conservation have been working hard to restore Geddington Church’s magnificent medieval reredos with its superb images painted on 13 zinc panels by Sir Ninian Comper as part of his very first church restoration project in 1888. The stonework and panels were damaged by moisture ingress and the work is part of a project – that also includes the cleaning of Comper’s East Window (1892) – funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and several other partners. Hirst Conservation are now offering you this special insight into their work with a FREE seminar in the Church.

This will be a great opportunity not only to view the completed restoration but to hear about the previous history of the reredos, the conservation process, the problems faced and how the conservators went about reviving this wonderful piece of our heritage. There had been an earlier restoration of the reredos in 1857 – by Sir George Gilbert Scott – and the conservation has revealed traces of his work behind Comper’s panels.

While artists occasionally used zinc panels during the 19th century, copper was far more commonly used, so Comper’s choice of zinc as a substrate for his work is highly unusual. The presentation will outline the considerations surrounding the zinc panels, and how this influenced the conservation treatments. We will also discuss the preventative conservation measures implemented to preserve these panels going forward.

During the seminar you will be able to see, hear and ask questions about:

  • A brief history of the reredos and its context
  • The historic pigments and paints used
  • The techniques and methods employed for treatments, including cross-section analysis, UVf and XRF
  • Conservation ethics and guidelines, and how they have informed the treatment decisions throughout the project

Plus …. You will have a sneak preview of the videos documenting the entire conservation process!

WHEN: 1st December 2023 at 1.30 p.m.

WHERE: St. Mary Magdalene Church, Church Hill, Geddington, Northamptonshire, NN14 1AH

The Workshop is FREE, but please let us know if you intend to come by emailing