The Montagu Monuments: A Fascinating Piece of History in Kettering, UK


Kettering, a small town located in Northamptonshire, UK, is home to several historical landmarks and hidden gems. One such gem is the Montagu Monuments, a remarkable set of sculptures that have captivated visitors for centuries. This blog post will delve into the history and significance of the Montagu Monuments, shedding light on their artistic beauty and cultural worth.


A Brief History

The Montagu Monuments can be found inside the parish church of St. Peter and St. Paul in Kettering. The church itself dates back to the 12th century and is a Grade I listed building, recognised for its architectural and historical importance. The Montagu Monuments were erected in the late 17th century as a memorial to members of the Montagu family, one of the most influential families in the area.


The Artistic Beauty

The Montagu Monuments are a testament to the exquisite craftsmanship and artistic skill of their creators. The sculptures consist of two life-sized marble figures resting on a stone plinth. The figures represent John, 2nd Duke of Montagu, and his wife, Lady Mary Churchill. John, dressed in elaborate armour, lies on his side, while Lady Mary, adorned in an elegant gown, rests beside him. The attention to detail in the sculptures is truly remarkable, from the intricately carved facial features to the delicate drapery of Lady Mary’s dress.


Symbolism and Meaning

Beyond their aesthetic appeal, the Montagu Monuments hold deep symbolic meaning. The positioning of the figures, with John on his side and Lady Mary beside him, represents the eternal bond between husband and wife, even in death. The armour worn by John symbolises his military prowess, while Lady Mary’s flowing gown signifies her grace and elegance. The monuments serve as a reminder of the Montagu family’s social status and influence during their time.


The Montagu Family Legacy

The Montagu family played a significant role in the history of Kettering and the surrounding areas. John, 2nd Duke of Montagu, was a prominent politician and military leader. Lady Mary Churchill, his wife, was the daughter of the great Duke of Marlborough, making her a member of the prestigious Churchill family. The Montagus were known for their philanthropy, and their contributions to the community are still felt today.


Preservation and Restoration

Over the years, the Montagu Monuments have faced the test of time and have required restoration to ensure their preservation. In 2012, a major restoration project was carried out to repair damage caused by weathering and pollution. Skilled craftsmen painstakingly cleaned and repaired the sculptures, bringing them back to their original glory. Today, the Montagu Monuments continue to stand as a cherished historical and cultural treasure in Kettering.


Visiting the Montagu Monuments

If you find yourself in Kettering, a visit to the Montagu Monuments is highly recommended. The church of St. Peter and St. Paul is open to the public, allowing visitors to admire the sculptures up close. The sheer beauty and historical significance of the Montagu Monuments make them a must-see attraction for history enthusiasts, art lovers, and anyone interested in exploring the rich heritage of Kettering.



The Montagu Monuments in Kettering, UK, are a testament to the artistic talent and historical significance of the Montagu family. These beautifully crafted sculptures not only serve as a memorial to John, 2nd Duke of Montagu, and Lady Mary Churchill but also represent a lasting symbol of love and devotion. As a cherished piece of Kettering’s heritage, the Montagu Monuments continue to inspire and captivate visitors from near and far.