Founders of this Chantry, the interaction of ritual and memorial.

I had a trip into Berkshire a few months ago and to Childrey, where the church is a complex building of extraordinary interest, with lots of medieval glass and numerous late medieval monumental brasses. In the south transept, there is a fine early sixteenth-century monument of Purbeck marble which is built up against the north... Continue Reading →

Cerecloth, pledgets and grave goods – the burial of William Lyndwood.

In January 1852 builders were in the process of demolishing the medieval chapel royal of St Stephen in the palace of Westminster and were removing the walls of the medieval undercroft chapel. As they worked, they discovered an extraordinary burial.  In a rough-hewn cavity in the thickness of the rubble wall, they found an uncoffined... Continue Reading →

over my dead "carkas", you will not dismantle my tomb.

I love late medieval wills, they are so full of interesting information that tell us about contemporary attitudes towards death, burial memorialisation, about interpersonal relationships and the duty felt by people to provide for those they left behind.  I'm currently doing a bit of research on gentry display and memorialisation in Derbyshire, which is taking... Continue Reading →

Intramural burial in medieval churches, some thoughts

Intramural burial of a shrouded corpse in a medieval chapel. The tiled floor of the chapel has been lifted to enable the body to admitted to a shallow grave.  MS M. 28, f.111r Morgan Library   Intramural burial was a common practice in late medieval England, not only for the socially elite on a county... Continue Reading →

Respice, Respice – a lost death’s head found.

// my brief time as a parish priest in Norfolk I looked after five churches, including the extraordinary church of All Saints, Beeston Regis.  The church sits in open ground on the edge of Sheringham, above the cliff and overlooking the North Sea.  It was a bleak and windy spot, which made the many burials... Continue Reading →

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