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I'm an architectural photographer. I travel around Britain interacting with special places. I work from my camper van called Woody and I share my experiences via this digest.

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Inside St. Kenelm's, Sapperton, Gloucestershire is a Renaissance C17th monument to the Poole family.


"Art washes away from the soul the dust of
everyday life."



The Imposter.

Once again I’m stood in an ancient place amongst people that I regard as friends, and I have imposter syndrome.

I’ve been commissioned by Marta Sledz from Chroma Conservation to photograph Marta and her team conserving a C17th monument at St. Helen’s in Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire.

I feel so guilty because being here doesn’t feel like work. It’s a joy to be in such a special place watching dedicated and talented people take care of something that means so much to the local community.

The Garrard Monument is an exceptional piece of craftsmanship which has suffered the ravages of time.

It is a memorial to John and Elizabeth Garrard. Below them are depictions of their fourteen children. Those who died whilst their parents were alive are holding skulls.

These monuments are telling, reflecting the privilege and societal norms of their day. Their survival is key, for they provide the yardstick by which we assess our collective journey, measure our progress, and confront contemporary challenges. I am reminded of the words of Lemn Sissay:

Hold me while spirits of the past
& Rivers of blood run through me
All this past feeds this present
And brings the truth into me

As well as the Garrard family, I see another memorial hidden in plain sight. This is also a monument to the artists who made it - from those behind the pattern books that influenced the design, to the artisans that brought about, through their skill and guile, a majestic whole. In spite of their hardship - they created a work of art that lights up our emotions: from the angelic spandrels to the poor little mites in the frieze.

I’ve photographed hundreds of monuments over my career, and the accumulative imbibing of their epithets and styles has impacted me enormously. For me, there’s nothing macabre or sad about them. They reveal generations of people who are actively re-imagining who they are and what they represent. As time moves on, the memorials reveal a constant desire for change through the latest styles, colours and typography.

The Garrard monument tells us of the iconography and fashions of the early C17th - and reminds us of the striking changes that the Northern Renaissance brought about, through the pattern books that were so prevalent.

This and the other church monuments at St. Helen’s, including the building and its churchyard, are part of the local communities history and cohesive identity. Conservation of the monument is helping keep all of this alive.

And then there’s Marta herself, and Ryan and Deb. At times, when I was photographing them, I lowered my lens and forgot my work for a while, in awe at the respect, reverence and devotion they had for the monument; for they know, that it is far greater than the sum of its parts.

These conservators, these minimal interventionists, aren’t simply curators of the paint pot and infill, but also guardians of a rich cultural tapestry that teaches us what it means to be human.

I once believed that we possessed our heritage, only to realise that it possesses us in more ways than we realise. We are but stewards and our legacy will be measured, and our offspring nourished, by the treasures we cherish and the stories we pass on.

Alongside blood banks and seed banks we also have monuments that are memory banks - just as critical to our future and wellbeing.


I made a short film of Marta and Ryan and Deb conserving the Garrard Monument.

If you know of a monument that needs help and conservation, do it now, raise the funds, shout it from the rooftops - as if your life depends upon it, because, far more than we realise, it probably does.

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A list of the most impactful monuments in my career as a photographer for your delectation and delight - and perhaps for you to visit one day this year?

You can see all the places on a map via this link.

The Foord Bowes Monument, Beverley Minster, Yorkshire

Meet my son, Sam!

This is, perhaps, the most impactful of all the monuments I've photographed. It is made of an artificial stone called Coade Stone and is quite rare.

Early on in my career, I was always taken by this monument - not for what it represents - but for the aesthetics behind it.

I sketched it in 2006.

Notice the shiny section of the cannon where people have touched it over the decades?

I lost my dad in 2008, but before that, we travelled to Beverley regularly, and I remember him stood next to the monument with his hands on the cannon chatting away. I always regret that I didn't take a photograph of him there - but this monument is just as much a memorial to him than anything else.


Since then I have photographed generations of Marshall's next to it as an act of Remembrance.

Meet my brother Paul!
Meet Mum!

✨ Members can see this monument in augmented reality (viewable on any device) here:

⛫ The Cast Room: The Coade Stone Foord Bowes Monument, Beverley Minster.
Welcome to my virtual Cast Room. On my travels, I’ve been taking augmented reality casts of things that appeal to me. The Cast Room is inspired by the Cast Courts of the V&A which hold a vast selection of casts taken of great works of art all over the globe. Members Only.

St. Mary's Warwick - The Beauchamp Chapel - Tomb of Richard Beauchamp, Warwickshire.

On a cold January day I found myself photographing this remarkable place encapsulated like a fly in amber. This place transports you into another world.

The chapel was built in the C15th to house the tomb of Richard Beauchamp, the Earl of Warwick. It also houses the tombs of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, his brother Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick, and Robert’s son, the “Noble Impe”.

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The tomb is made of gilt-bronze from a model by John Massingham. The stiffness of the repose is brought to life by a remarkably accurate depiction of the anatomy of a body including muscles and veins. Each strand of hair is beautifully depicted.

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The weepers that encircle the tomb are also remarkably life like - but in miniature. Each detail is precious - they are the letters that form the sentences to the narrative at play.

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The Monuments of All Saints', Harewood, Yorkshire

When I walked into All Saints', Harewood I felt as though I was imposing upon the deep slumber of its alabaster occupants.

The south aisle on a sunny day compounded my imposter syndrome by creating an enclave of diaphanous light. As soon as I stepped into it I felt as though the recumbent incumbents might rise in admonition.

They didn’t, of course, but what they did do was present an astonishing parade of fashion as it was in the 15th and 16th centuries: resplendent with the pattern and decoration of the period, adorned with angelic hosts to protect, bedesmen to mourn, and tearful lions to rest upon.

As time ticks by and the sun alters its position, Medusa’s gaze is swept away as each effigy has its moment of light and warmth - deep cut rosaries are emblazoned, profiles enlivened, and a vague epoch (near forgotten) dipped into a mellow luminescence.

Monument to Alice Chaucer, St. Mary the Virgin, Ewelme, Oxfordshire

At first glance you might think that this alabaster tomb might be from Westminster Abbey but this remarkable monument to Alice Chaucer is at St. Mary, Ewelme in Oxfordshire.

She was the grandaughter of Geoffrey Chaucer who wrote the Canterbury Tales. Note the stone cadaver behind the tracery at the bottom.

She wears the crown of a Duchess and became a Lady of the Most Noble Order of the Garter.

Early C17th Tomb of Lord Cecil, St. Etheldreda, Hatfield, Hertfordshire.

A radical departure from previous cadaver monuments in terms of its style.

Simon Jenkins says: 'If the Brocket's Chapel is the roast beef of old England, Cecil's is European haute cuisine.'

This monument is not too distant in date from the Garrard's in Wheathampstead - comparing the two just shows how radical a departure this one is in terms of style.

On top lies the body prostrate in hope of eternal salvation and on the bottom lies the cadaver anchored in this world.

Cecil is held up by the four Cardinal Virtues: Prudence, Justice, Fortitude and Temperance.

Whilst photographing the Cecil monument, I felt as though I was being watched.

Tomb to a Roman Standard Bearer, Hexham Abbey, Hexham, Northumberland

This tomb to a Roman standard bearer is around 2000 years old and shows the mounted Flavinus riding over a barbarian.

It reads:
Here Lies Flavinus
A Horse Rider of the Cavalry Regiment of Petriana
Standard Bearer of the Troop of Candidus
Aged 25, of 7 Years’ Service

The Fettiplace Monument at St. Mary's, Swinbrook, Oxfordshire

Remarkable in its depiction: a triple decker monument colloquially known as the TV Watchers. Simon Jenkins calls them 'the most eccentric in England.' This is a hidden gem in a beautiful location.

The Latch at St. Oswald, Kirkoswald, Cumbria - a monument to every day people.

I place my thumb upon the latch and press. It makes a delicious ‘click and clump.’ I think of the person I’ve just seen walk in through the door before me. They pressed it too.

And then I think of the person before them and the person before them. Soon I’m struck by a remarkable burgeoning of perspective - that, through the orchestration of the latch, I’m connected to every person that has entered this door for the last five hundred years.

Every thumb press shaves microns from the surface of the metal.

Its shape reveals a collective thumbprint.

St. Oswald, Kirkoswald, Cumbria

✨ Parlour, Piano Nobile and Palazzo Members can see a new visual Comperandum on church monuments here:

Comperandum - Church Monuments
A nod to Banister Fletcher: Church Monuments

View all the Comperandums:

comperandum - Andy Marshall’s Genius Loci Digest
A nod to Banister Fletcher


I think my monument would have Woody on it. Inside Woody are petit-monuminutiae that hold memories of places that I've been to.

Van Life Gallery
My van, Woody, is my time-travelling machine, taking me to some remarkable places that have altered my mind like wine through water.


Chroma Conservation
Chroma Conservation Ltd are an experienced, fully-qualified and dedicated team of conservators based in Bozeat, Northamptonshire; offering a tailored service and a full range of conservation treatments
St Helens Church Wheathampstead | Garrard memorial | LocalLife
St Helens Church Wheathampstead Garrard memorial LocalLife
‘Look at your country! It’s amazing’: Armistead Maupin on moving to London
The Tales of the City author made his name as the bard of San Francisco, but now calls Clapham home. He talks about becoming a British citizen, his new novel set in the Cotswolds and missing California weed

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Photographs and words by Andy Marshall (unless otherwise stated). Most photographs are taken with Iphone 14 Pro and DJI Mini 3 Pro.