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Tales from the Crypt: Cloudesley Centre exhibition records the lives of former residents

PUBLISHED: 12:11 28 September 2020 | UPDATED: 15:48 30 September 2020

Tales from the Crypt project at the former Holy Trinity Church, Cloudesley Square (now the Cloudesley Centre). Pictured are volunteer coordinator Susan Skedd (centre) and volunteers Kieran Garvey and Jenny Tatton, With local dog Nell.Picture: André Langlois

Tales from the Crypt project at the former Holy Trinity Church, Cloudesley Square (now the Cloudesley Centre). Pictured are volunteer coordinator Susan Skedd (centre) and volunteers Kieran Garvey and Jenny Tatton, With local dog Nell.Picture: André Langlois

André Langlois

The doors of the former Holy Trinity Church reopened on Saturday for a new exhibition, following substantial repair work.

Tales from the Crypt project at the former Holy Trinity Church, Cloudesley Square (now the Cloudesley Centre). Picture: André LangloisTales from the Crypt project at the former Holy Trinity Church, Cloudesley Square (now the Cloudesley Centre). Picture: André Langlois

Now called the Cloudesley Centre, the building is hosting an exhibition, Tales from the Crypt, for which a team of volunteers have researched the lives of the people who were buried there between 1829 and 1854.

The building has been closed due to repairs to the south aisle, funded by Historic England. It is now opening on Saturday each week, 11am-2pm, until November 28 for the exhibition.

Volunteer coordinator Susan Skedd said: “The Tales From the Crypt project is the start of a much wider project to return the Cloudesley Centre - the former Holy Trinity Church in Cloudesley Square - back into community use.

“We’ve been working with a team of volunteers, researchers and curators to investigate the lives of the 178 people buried in the crypt beneath the church. That’s consecrated ground and the bodies are going to stay there.

Tales from the Crypt project at the former Holy Trinity Church, Cloudesley Square (now the Cloudesley Centre). Picture: André LangloisTales from the Crypt project at the former Holy Trinity Church, Cloudesley Square (now the Cloudesley Centre). Picture: André Langlois

“We just wanted to know who were the people - these were the first inhabitants of this square - and to find out more about their lives.”

The display features artworks by pupils from New River College Primary School, who worked with artists Anna Sikorska and Nir Segal.

The project is run by The London Diocesan Fund, in partnership with Islington Museum, and was supported by a £46,700 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The free exhibition was originally opened at Islington Museum, before being shut down after a day because of lockdown.

Children from New River Cottage Primary worked with artists Anna Sikorska and Nir Segal in workshops responding to stories associated with the church. Picture: André LangloisChildren from New River Cottage Primary worked with artists Anna Sikorska and Nir Segal in workshops responding to stories associated with the church. Picture: André Langlois

Islington Guided Walks has developed two walks around the Tales from the Crypt characters, who include beadles and builders, slave owners and Silkee Dan. Visit https://islingtonguidedwalks.com/ for details.

Dr Susan Skedd will give a talk on the project on October 21; and Rosie Fraser and Laura Moffatt will discuss delivering a grant-funded project on November 26.

Both talks will be online on Zoom at 7pm and places can be booked by emailing Islingtonsociety@aol.com

Zoom workshops on Art and Heritage and Interpreting Heritage will be held on October 6 and November 3. Visit bit.ly/crypt_workshop2 and bit.ly/crypt_workshop3 for details and to book.

Last autumn children from New River Cottage Primary worked with artists Anna Sikorska and Nir Segal in workshops responding to stories associated with the church. Picture: André LangloisLast autumn children from New River Cottage Primary worked with artists Anna Sikorska and Nir Segal in workshops responding to stories associated with the church. Picture: André Langlois

Tales from the Crypt project at the former Holy Trinity Church, Cloudesley Square (now the Cloudesley Centre). Picture: André LangloisTales from the Crypt project at the former Holy Trinity Church, Cloudesley Square (now the Cloudesley Centre). Picture: André Langlois

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