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.


We will be bringing you images of cross-slabs and related memorials and posting them here, all drawings and photographs copyright Chiz Harward, Urban Archaeology unless otherwise attributed.

Medieval grave cover from Cirencester Abbey excavations (Ciren. Exc. IV fig 113, p165 no H160); decorated in bas relief with inter-twined ribbon work around five circular motifs: eight-segmented motif, fleur de lys, eight-armed motif, patee cross with pellets, and interlace motif; early 13th century; limestone, 1.60m, incomplete: broken in two pieces, main part on display in Corinium Museum.

Cross-slabs from Gloucestershire churches: St Mary Edgeworth

Cross-slabs from Gloucestershire churches, L-R, Miserden, Sapperton, Duntisbourne Rouse

Decorated coffin lid of Walter of Cirencester, with carving of tonsured head in relief (damaged) and 8-spoked wheel cross terminating in fleur de lys on a three-stepped calvary; marginal inscribed text in Lombardic script: '+ HIC IACET WALTERUS:DE: CHILTEHAM:QUONDAM:CLERICUS:NOSTER:||[CUIU]S:ANIME|| PROPICIETU[R:D]S' (Here lies Walter of Cheltenham formerly our clerk to whose soul may God be merciful); limestone, 2.12m long. Excavated at Cirencester Abbey (Ciren. Excav, IV, fig 114, p165 ref H101); early 14th century. Now on display in Corinium Museum.
 Walter of Cheltenham was a member of the Abbot's Council in 1285. In 1298 he was securing for the abbey the restoration of the church of Ampney St Mary, of which he was rector. In 1302 he procured a licence to alienate in mortmain to the abbey a house and carucate of land in Sapperton. By 1269 he held the churches of Ampney St Mary and Withington. In 1291 he obtained the church of Coates, and in 1298 that of Sapperton. He was already dead in 1306. Walter only received orderes as a subdeacon in 1284 and priest in 1300. He was clearly not a canon but a secular priest. His property may have been given to help build the [Cirecncester] abbey choir' Ciren. Excav. IV p165

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