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.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Eastleach Turville and Eastleach Martin: a river runs through them

A reconnaissance visit to the far southeast of the county, to the extremely picturesque Eastleach Martin and Eastleach Turville, where two churches are separated by the River Leach, and up to 1935 were separate parishes.
St Michael and St Martin's, Eastleach Martin

St Michael and St Martin's in Eastleach Martin is set beside the river, no cross-slabs were seen, but it is a lovely church, now cared for by the Churches Conservation Trust.

St Andrew's Eastleach Turville
St Andrew's  Eastleach Turville, is on the opposite side of the shallow river, reached by a two-arched bridge, or lower down by a delightful stone clapper bridge. The church, with its saddle-backed tower roof, is quite charming. It has a good mass dial on the porch, with WI 1777 carved above, although the real treasure is the Norman doorway and tympanum showing the Majesty of Christ in a cartouche supported by angels. 

Norman tympanum at St Andrew's Eastleach Turville
Evidence of a former north aisle and chapel is seen in the north wall, with a blocked arcade, and a blocked arch of c1200 with two fine shafts -one topped by a scalloped foliated capital, the other by a biting head in very good condition.

Transitional capitals at St Andrew's Eastleach Turville
Inside, some ornately scribed 18th century memorials are set in a concrete slab floor, but no cross-slabs are visible. In the north transept the 1906 organ apparently hides a 14th century canopied  tomb, with a stone coffin-lid decorated with a foliate cross, a return visit will have to be arranged to see if this can still be reached and recorded.

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