The History Anorak

The History Anorak

Monday, 13 June 2016

Morning Squire!

Limestone monument in the churchyard at St James's Church, Burton Lazars, Leicestershire. Dedicated to local weaver William Squires, the monument is one of the largest and most ambitious in the county.

When William Squires died in 1781 he had amassed a small fortune, for his time. in excess of £600. He ordered that part of the sum should be used to build an impressive tomb to house his corpse. He intended that the remainder should be used to educate the local poor, but there was so little left over from the creation of his monument that his good intentions failed to reach fruition.

The 20 feet high monument is elaborately carved with many different symbols and it is thought that it was once painted to look like marble, and gilded.

It was added to the Buildings at Risk Register in 1998 but a programme of repairs and restoration in 2014 mean that it was removed from the register in 2015.

It's Grade II* listed.


  1. What an impressive monument, well worth restoring. I always associate Burton Lazars with the leprosy hospital. I think we've driven through the village a couple of times but have never stopped to look at the church:)

    1. It's worth a look - though you might have to call the church warden to unlock the door for you. I was lucky - someone getting married there in August was taking measurements so the place was open.

  2. It certainly looks impressive though I confess that it isn't really to my taste:) I haven't come across the name of Burton Lazars before the name is a definite clue to its origins.


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