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.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol

Although in the city of Bristol, the church of St Mary Redcliffe lies within the ceremonial county of Gloucestershire and along with other Bristol churches will be included in this survey of Gloucestershire cross-slabs.

St Mary's must be one of the most beautiful parish churches in England with both Decorated and Perpendicular elements, and contains a number of ornate memorials including some to the Bristol merchants who paid for much of the building work. Less well known is the small number of medieval cross-slabs which can still be found in the church despite the renovations of the 19th century which involved the relaying of much of the floor, and presumably the loss or burial of many memorial and cross-slabs. RW Paul illustrated cross-slabs from St Mary's in his 1882 work 'An account of some of the Incised and Sepulchral slabs of North West Somersetshire', however two of these slabs had been lost by the 20th century when Frank Greenhill listed eight extant cross-slabs within the church. Greenhill noted that three of these slabs had been lost before a return visit in 1948.