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Heraldry, Brasses and Hatchments

As noted previously Coats of Arms played a large part in the tombs of the deceased in the Middle Ages. Another instance of this particular usage can be found on the brasses on the floor of many churches and cathedrals. In the medieval and early modern periods in particular, monumental brasses and incised slabs were popular forms of monuments or memorials used to cover the tombs of those buried inside churches. An incised slab is a flat memorial with an effigy of the deceased, a cross or Coat of Arms, with epitaph, cut directly into the stone; they originated before the Norman Conquest. A monumental brass, by contrast, is engraved on sheets of metal inlaid in matrices cut into the...

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Heraldry on Graves and Tombs

Heraldry played a very important part in marking the last resting place of the deceased from an early date. In the church at Boxgrove near Chichester in Sussex southern England can be seen numerous instances of the Coats of Arms of medieval persons who are entombed there. In Chichester Cathedral itself there are many other examples of Heraldry, including the tomb of Bishop Robert Sherburne, image above, indeed it would be hard to find a church or cathedral dating prior to 1800 where no arms appear. At Speldurst in Kent, the burial place of the great Waller family there is a collective memorial to the Wallers with their Coats of Arms, showing the shield in miniature hanging from the walnut...

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