Medieval Cross Slabs

Medieval Cross Slabs

St Bartholomew’s Church has one of the most important collections of coffin lids and grave markers in the county, mostly re-set during the 1913 restoration when the north aisle, demolished in antiquity, was reinstated.  Other fragments are distributed around the church and in the South porch.  There are around 20 pieces in all.
Many of the slabs are of late twelfth or thirteenth century date; several show signs of post-medieval re-use.


The two slabs at the east end of the Lady Chapel are outstanding examples with their richly carved borders, delicate florets and symbolic shears and keys.  These were costly memorial of the period before effigies became more representative towards the end of the 13 Century.  No doubt the larger slabs commemorate families who were notable contributors to the rebuilding of the church.

1.  Simple slab of yellowish sandstone, its only design a large sunk panel within which a chalice is carved in relief. not really datable.


2.  Relief-carved slab of medium-grained sandstone. This is probably a genuine medieval slab, incised in its original form, re-cut as a relief design in the nineteenth century.


3.  Relief-carved slab of medium-grained sandstone. Bracelet cross with trefoil terminals rising from stepped base, with shears on left. Incised inscription of 1845. Thirteenth century.


4. Relief-carved slab of coarse brown sandstone. The cross head a circle of eight intersecting rings; sword on r. and what looks like an open book on left. Late twelfth century?

If you are interested in a more detailed study of the cross slabs in St Bartholomew's Church, please explored the assessment of this collection made by our archaeologist Dr Peter Ryder which can be down loaded here.

The main part relating to the cross slabs begins on page 14 - Appendix 1