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.

Friday, 22 April 2016

More Minchinhampton...

A brief break in work allowed a return visit to Holy Trinity Minchinhampton which I had visited just before Christmas (http://gloscross-slabs.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/holy-trinity-minchinhampton.html).
In the early 20th century Greenhill noted five cross-slabs at Holy Trinity of which I had found three on the first visit -two are inside, set into the south wall of the nave, with a third lying broken outside against the east wall of the chancel. This time I managed to find a broken cross-slab propped up against the churchyard wall, half hidden behind gravestones, however the final cross-slab still eludes me. It is apparently set into the ceiling of the south transept, but the light pouring in through the fabulous rose window meant it was impossible to pick out a cross-slab amongst the many rectangular slabs used in the vaulting. Greenhill describes it as 'Cross fleury in nimbus, small cross patée on stem, foot lost, ?13th cent. Built into ceiling of S[outh] Tr[ansept]. So a return visit with a powerful torch is needed! 

Medieval cross-slab re-used (upside down) in 19th century building in Minchinhampton town
Holy Trinity was largely rebuilt in 1842 and we know that some slabs were removed from the church, although we weren't sure where they had ended up. A bit of local knowledge and exploration led to two new discoveries around the town. We did find a very nice but incomplete cross-slab re-used as a quoin in an early-mid 19th century building, it's design very similar to one of the slabs set inside the church. A bit further away a small footbridge has two large slabs which may be re-used cross-slabs or later ledgerstones, although they are half-buried under earth and very prickly bushes...
Another tip-off has alerted the team to another Minchinhampton cross-slab, although this one has ended up in Stonehouse...further investigation is needed!

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