|MONUMENTS IN THE NEWS|
If you find any articles on, or related to, church monuments, be they informative, interesting, gruesome, amusing, silly or even down right wrong, in newspapers, magazines, radio, television etc, please send me information at email@example.com
Please note that actual articles are often quoted as they were written and neither the style, content nor opinion are necessarily those of the Publicity Officer or Church Monuments Society. They will be kept on this page until the end of the year in which they appeared and then archived.
Earlier articles may be found archived here: Past Material
|Further Information of Richard III Monument|
|May 2013 Design Brief for
Re-interment of King Richard III
Leicester Cathedral has published its design brief for the re-interment of King Richard III (available here, by scrolling down the page www.cathedral.leicester.anglican.org/Visit%20&%20support%20us/RichardIII.html)
|13th March 2013 BBC Leicester. The Dean and Chapter of Leicester Cathedral have rejected the design of a table tomb to cover the remains of King Richard III, but instead propose a simple ledger stone. For details click here.|
|12th March The Times Click here to access a copy of our President, Sally Badham's letter to The Times about the on going problem caused by bats in churches; a problem that should be easy to solve but isn't.|
|2nd March 2013 Council member Dr Jean WIlson has written an article for The Times of 2nd March this year: Let memorials bring the past to dazzingling life. This is a call to churches to end the dull uniformity of monuments today and discusses how monuments of the past have often brought that past alive to us today and the great value of their doing so. The article may be accessed by clicking here.|
|Announcement: the new MeMO
database is available
The MeMO (Medieval Memoria Online) database was officially
launched on Thursday 31 January 2013. It contains a wealth
of material on medieval (or pre-Reformation) memorial
culture within the present-day Netherlands.[i]
The database incorporates both memorial texts and objects up to c.1580, including tomb monuments and slabs. There is an extensive introduction that explains the aims and objectives of the project and instructions on how to browse or search in the database. All entries are in English and contain descriptions, measurements, locations, inscriptions (with translations), biographical information on the persons commemorated, literature, and photos where available. It thus offers scholars internationally a wonderful new research tool that is freely available to all.
Some 800 tomb monuments and slabs across the country were professionally photographed especially for MeMO. Throughout these photographic sessions the ‘Tomb Team’ received tremendous cooperation from churches, staff and local volunteers. Their help was often vital in locating slabs, which were sometimes found in more unusual places, and not just inside churches. An example is the slab of 1547 commemorating Ritscke Boelema, founder of a local hospice, which was discovered in the inner courtyard of the modern-day Ritske Boelema Gasthuis in Leeuwarden, now a nursing home for the elderly. Another interesting feature of this slab is that it was signed by Benedictus Gerbrands, a sculptor known through his initials B.G. to have been responsible for slabs elsewhere in Friesland, such as in Dokkum. In Maastricht (Limburg) four slabs are still hidden in the lobby of the Kruisherenhotel (formerly the convent of the Crutched Friars). In Rijnsburg (Zuid-Holland) the verger of the Grote Kerk kindly disassembled part of the wooden floor in the nave to reveal two spectacular slabs to two abbesses of Rijnsburg Abbey, including that of the last resident abbess, Stefana van Rossum, who died in 1603, i.e. long after the demolition of the abbey church in 1574.
More time (and funding) is still needed to complete the mammoth task of checking and expanding the entries for all extant Dutch medieval monuments, but the present database is already an impressive result. And there is scope for yet more work, as there is a wealth of information in antiquarian texts and drawings waiting to be researched and added. The MeMO database can be found at http://memo.hum.uu.nl/database/index.html. Users are invited to submit comments, corrections and additions to firstname.lastname@example.org in order to help improve the database.
[i] See also S. Oosterwijk, ‘Medieval Memoria Online (MeMO): introduction and appeal’, Church Monuments Society Newsletter, 26:2 (Spring 2011), 14-15, and ‘An emblem of faith, fidelity, wealth and good taste?’, Church Monuments Society Newsletter, 27:2 (Spring 2012), 15-17.
|Richard III's Reburial|
|25th February 2013 CMS members undoubtedly have a variety of views on the issue of where Richard III’s remains should be re-buried, whether it is at Leicester, York or elsewhere. The Society as a whole has no stated preference. There is no evidence as to where Richard III might have chosen to be interred had he not died on Bosworth Field. His brother, Edward IV, chose burial at Windsor and Richard’s wife, Anne Neville, was buried in Westminster Abbey, while his father, Richard, Duke of York, and brother Edmund, were buried in the Yorkist mausoleum in the collegiate church at Fotheringhay (Northants). Much has been made of Richard’s links with the north, especially York. Richard’s son, Edward of Middleham, was formerly though to have been buried in the parish church at Sheriff Hutton, near York, whose castle was one of Richard’s great strongholds, but the monument there has been proved to date from much earlier in the fifteenth century. Richard planned to found a great college of over 100 priests who would say masses in York Minster for the king and his family, but it came to nothing as a result of his death in 1485 and this does not necessarily mean that he would have been buried there. Modern church law and established archaeological practice both favour disturbed human remains being reinterred as close as possible to the place they were found, and ideally within the same ecclesiastical parish.|
|13th February 2013 Monument Fit For
A King A proposed
design for a monument to cover the remains
of King Richard III has today been unveiled by the Richard
III Society. It combines a mix of the medieval and modern in
its design and may be seen on the
Richard III Society
website. The plan is for the King to
be buried in Leicester Cathedral which is near to the site
where his skeleton was excavated. There is already a modern
floor slab in the Cathedral which actually covers no
2nd February 2013 The Times An article by David Meara about the church at Abergavenny winning our guide book competition and something about the excellent series of monuments in that church.
|4th February 2013, 10.00 am BBC News
It was announced today by a team from the
University of Leicester that the skeletal remains discovered
last year on the site of Gray Friars Church, Leicester are
beyond reasonable doubt those of King Richard III, killed at
the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.
Contemporary chronicler John Rouse states that the King was buried in the choir of the above church, the site of which - although not the actual layout of the buildings - appears on maps as late as 1612. There is a local tradition that the body of the King was removed from his grave and thrown into the local river at the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries; however, this has now shown to have been false.
The skeleton was discovered in the west part of the choir in front of the stalls in a grave which was roughly cut and too short for the body. There was no evidence of a coffin (such as nails), shroud or clothing. All of this indicates a hasty burial.
The skeleton is that of a male of slender build aged between the late 20's and early 30's and 5' 8" in height, although the apparent height would have been less because of the presence of scoliosis; this latter condition - a curvature of the spine - in this case was not present at birth but would have developed after the age of ten. Radio carbon dating indicates that the skeleton dates from between 1455 - 1540.
There are ten wounds consisted with battle injuries on the skeleton, eight on the skull and two elsewhere, all of which were inflicted around the time of death; a large injury to the skull would have brought about death, indicating that the helmet was lost at some point earlier. Some of the injuries - such as those on a rib and on the pelvis - appear to be insulting injuries inflicted on a body stripped of armour. Richard III was stripped and his body thrown over a horse where his enemies could have perpetrated such injuries. What was thought to have been an arrow head was rather a much earlier nail.
All this points to the fact that this skeleton could well be that of Richard III and today it has been announced that the DNA which was fortunately recovered from the skeleton, matches that of two descendents of Richard's sister, Anne of York, so proving beyond reasonable doubt that the skeleton is indeed that of King Richard III.
The skeleton will be reburied in Leicester Cathedral, where there is already a modern ledger stone commemorating the King.
The full story will, of course, be told elsewhere.
I note that the incisor teeth of the skeleton meet edge to edge and this is consistent with portraits of the King which show him with a slightly protruding lower jaw giving him a somewhat determined appearance.