Welcome to the blog of the Gloucestershire cross-slab survey. Cross-slabs are a class of medieval stone grave markers which are decorated with a cross motif; they are most commonly found at churches and monastic sites, although some are held in museums. The survey aims to record all surviving medieval cross-slabs across Gloucestershire, compile a gazetteer database, and publish a corpus of Gloucestershire cross-slabs.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Quick trip south...

A visit to Bristol allowed a short detour to stop off at some of the most southerly churches in the study area:  Cold Ashton, Marshfield, West Littleton and Dyrham. No cross-slabs were found during the quick visit, but all four churches are worth a visit.
Holy Trinity, Cold Ashton, rebuilt in the 16th century contains a beautiful pulpit canopy with crockets and pinnacles; there is a badly weathered recumbent female effigy outside St Mary, Marshfield, possibly dating to the 15th century, it is in poor condition but worth further recording.

Stone canopy with pinnacles and crockets above the oak pulpit, 16th century; Holy Trinity Cold Ashton

Recumbent female effigy outside St Mary Marshfield; the gravestone at the foot is later; 0.3m scale
St James West Littleton is a delightful small church, without tower but with a wonderful mid 13th century bellcote above the chancel arch. Above the south door is a pinnacled and crocketed niche containing an image of the Virgin. Table tombs and memorial plaques have recently been restored http://www.stjamesmonuments.org/index.php.

13th century bellcote at St James, West Littleton
Defaced image of the Virgin in a pinnacled and crocketed niche; St James, West Littleton
19th century floor tiles; St James, West Littleton
St Peter Dyrham http://www.dyrhamandhinton.com/page183.html was sadly shut so it was not possible to see the early 16th century Flemish painted altar tryptych, or the brasses to Sir Morys Russel †1401 and his wife Isabel †1415, nor the 'beautiful medieval tiles on the floor of the south aisle'. The remains of a broken stoup, reset with cement by the south door of the porch (internal) and part of a piscina by the tower highlight the potential vulnerability of monuments once they are removed from their original home. 

Fragments of stoup cemented into the porch at St Peter, Dyrham
Post-medieval chest tomb with momento mori, St Peter, Dyrham

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