Manual Ref* SUmsBA002 Show 9 images 956

Claydon Madonna and Child (LH270)

County Suffolk   District Council Mid Suffolk District Council 
Civil Parish or equivalent Barham and Claydon  Town/Village* Barham 
Road Church Lane 
Precise Location North nave aisle, Middleton Chapel, St Mary and St Peter, Barham 
OS Grid Ref TM136509  Postcode IP6 
Previous location(s) St Peter, Claydon 
Setting In church  Access Public 
Artist/Maker Role Qualifier
Henry Moore  Sculptor(s)   

Commissioned by

Sir Jasper Ridley 

Design & Constrn period


Date of installing

Here 28 April 1978 

Exact date of unveiling

December 1949 


Abstract Animal Architectural
Commercial Commemorative Composite
Free Functional Funerary
Heraldic Military Natural
Non-Commemorative Performance Portable
Religious Roadside, Wayside Sculptural
Temporary, Mobile Other  

Object Type

Building Clock Tower Architectural
Coat of Arms Cross Fountain
Landscape Marker Medallion
Mural Panel Readymade
Relief Shaft Sculpture
Statue Street Furniture War Memorial
Other Object Sub Type: Madonna and Child, as war memorial

Subject Type

Allegorical Mythological Pictorial
Figurative Non-figurative Portrait
Still-life Symbolic Other

Subject Sub Type

Bust Equestrian Full-length
Group Head Reclining
Seated Standing Torso
Part Material Dimension
Madonna and Child  Hornton Stone  122 cm high 
Base  Hornton Stone  90cm high x 60 wide x 50 deep 

Work is

Extant Not Sited Lost


St Mary and St Peter Parochial Church Council 

Listing status

Grade I Grade II* Grade II Don't Know Not Listed

Surface Condition

Corrosion, Deterioration Accretions
Bird Guano Abrasions, cracks, splits
Biological growth Spalling, crumbling
Metallic staining Previous treatments
Detail: In need of cleaning

Structural Condition

Armature exposed Broken or missing parts
Replaced parts Loose elements
Cracks, splits, breaks, holes Spalling, crumbling
Water collection Other
Detail: The crown has split, there is damage to the left arm


Graffiti Structural damage Surface Damage

Overall condition

Good Fair Poor


No Known Risk At Risk Immediate

Description (physical)

The statue is set in the Middleton chapel, added to the north of the nave in the nineteenth century. The chapel is raised up and approached by a flight of four steps, ensuring that the statue is well lit (unlike the original position in St Peter, Claydon, where it would have been very difficult to see against the windows of the south transept) and emphasising its grandeur, achieved through its elegant silhouette with carving which eschews naturalistic detail in the figures but emphasises the care with which the Madonna cradles the Christ Child. It thus fits with Moore's account of his earlier Hornton stone Madonna and Child (HL 270)for St Matthew, Northampton of 1943-1944 ‘There are two particular motives or subjects which I have constantly used in my sculpture in the last twenty years; they are the Reclining Figure idea and the Mother and Child idea. (Perhaps of the two the Mother and Child has been the more fundamental obsession.) I began thinking of the Madonna and Child for St. Matthew’s by considering in what ways a Madonna and Child differs from a carving of just a ’Mother and Child’ - that is, by considering how in my opinion, religious art differs from secular art... It’s not easy to describe in words what this difference is, except by saying in general terms that the Madonna and Child should have an austerity and a nobility, and some touch of grandeur (even hieratic aloofness) which is missing in the everyday ’Mother and Child’ idea.’ 

Description (iconographical)

During the war Sir Jasper Ridley was Chairman of the Trustees of the National Gallery, whose director was (Lord) Kenneth Clark. Henry Moore had been approached by Canon Walter Hussey, a firm supporter of contemporary art for churches, for a sculpture to commemorate the 50th anniversary of St Matthew, Northampton, having commissioned a cantata from Benjamin Britten and a Crucifixion from Graham Sutherland. Moore was at first reluctant but produced a set of maquettes which were displayed in Kenneth Clark’s office at the National Gallery in 1943 to allow Canon Hussey to make his choice. Clark noted that the maquettes were ‘the most exciting sight I have ever seen', adding that Ridley wanted to commission the model chosen as the best if Hussey didn’t, or indeed another one. In 1948 Ridley, who lived at Mockbeggars Hall in Claydon, commissioned the Madonna and Child from Moore as a war memorial for his son and three others from Claydon, killed in World War II. He chose one of the larger terracotta maquettes prepared for the Northampton commission ( HL 222), although the final sculpture was smaller than the Northampton version, so that Moore added a crown from ground stone and fixative to give added majesty. Sir Jasper Ridley's tombstone stands to the north of the tower of St Peter,Claydon SUmsCL001 


Date taken:  8/10/2009
Date logged: 

Photographed by:
Sarah Cocke

On Site Inspection

Date:  8/10/2009

Inspected by:
Richard Cocke

Sources and References

Henry Moore quoted in Church of S. Matthew, Northampton, 1893-1943, St Matthew’s Church, Northampton 1943 in /; Bowness, A., ed., Henry Moore, Sculpture and Drawings, London, 2nd revised ed., 1988; vols 1 and 2; both accessed 04/10/2009; Berthoud, R., Life of Henry Moore, London, 1987, 186 and 222 


Date entered:  8/10/2009

Data inputter:
Richard Cocke