Cadaver Tombs


A Cadaver Tomb is a monument where an effigy of the deceased is shown, often resting underneath an effigy of the person as in life. The cadaver was represented as an emaciated corpse, almost skeletal, either shrouded or partially or totally exposed from its shroud. The cadaver was a depiction of the inevitibility of death, no matter how great a person's earthly status, and was often adorned with gruesome additions such as verminous creatures feeding on the remains, such as snails, lizards, snakes, worms, beetles and frogs.

Cadaver tombs in the UK were a fashion almost exclusively reproduced between 1420 and 1480, and surviving examples are relatively rare, there being about 150 recorded.

 

Examples of cadaver tombs:

Bristol Cathedral
Bristol
Avon.
16th Century
St John's College Chapel
Cambridge
Cambridgeshire.
15th Century
Cathedral Church of All Saints
Derby
Derbyshire.
15th Century
Exeter Cathedral
Exeter
Devon.
15th Century
Exeter Cathedral
Exeter
Devon.
16th Century
Church of St. Andrew
Feniton
Devon.
15th Century?
Church of St Peter
Edensor
Derbyshire
17th Century
Church of All Saints
Bishop Burton near Beverley
East Yorkshire.
17th Century
church??
South Dalton
East Yorkshire.
17th Century
Church of St James
Dursley
Gloucestershire.
15th Century
Tewkesbury Abbey
Tewkesbury
Gloucestershire.
16th Century
Church of St Etheldreda
Hatfield (also known as Bishop's Hatfield)
Hertfordshire.
17th Century
Cantebury Cathedral
Cantebury
Kent.
15th Century
Church of St Stephen
Hackington near Cantebury
Kent.
16th Century
Church of St. Mary and St. Hardulph
Breedon-on-the-Hill
Leicestershire.
16th Century
Cathedral Church of St. Mary
Lincoln
Lincolnshire.
15th Century
Cathedral Church of St. Saviour
Southwark
London.
15th Century
Church of St. Peter and St. Paul
Salle
Norfolk.
15th Century(cadaver brass).
Church of St. Peter
Spixworth
Norfolk.
17th Century
Church of St Mary
Hemingbrough
North Yorkshire.
?
Church of St Giles
Holme, near Newark
Nottinghamshire.
15th Century
Church of St Mary
Ewelme
Oxfordshire.
15th Century
Church of St. Mary
Tenby
Pembrokeshire (Wales).
15th Century
Church of St. Peter & St. Paul
Exton
Rutland.
17th Century
Church of St John The Baptist
Frome
Somerset.
15th Century
Wells Cathedral
Wells
Somerset.
15th Century
Church of St. Mary
Worsborough
South Yorkshire.
16th Century
Church of St. Nicholas
Denston
Suffolk.
15th Century
Salisbury Cathedral
Salisbury
Wiltshire.
16th Century
St. Peter’s Church of Ireland
Drogheda, Co. Louth
Eire.
16th Century
Musee Calvet
Avignon
France.
15th Century
Grote of Onze Lieve Vrouwe Kerk
Breda
Netherlands.
16th Century
St Jans Kathedraal
s’Hertogenbosch
Netherlands.
16th Century

 

 


 

Other Depictions of Death on Monuments

 

Church of St Nicholas
Hurst
Berkshire.
17th Century
Church of St Mary
Amersham
Buckinghamshire.
17th Century
Church of St Mary
Amersham
Buckinghamshire.
17th Century
Cathedral Church of St. Mary the Virgin
Truro
Cornwall.
16th Century?
Church of St Mary and All Saints
Chesterfield
Derbyshire.
17th Century?
Church of St James the Great
Chipping Campden
Gloucestershire.
17th Century
Church of St Mary Magdalene
Sherborne
Gloucestershire.
18th Century
Church of St Mary Magdalene
Sherborne
Gloucestershire.
17th Century
Westminster Abbey
Westminster
London.
18th Century
St. Pauls Cathedral
City of London.
London.
17th Century
Church of All Saints
East Barsham
Norfolk.
17th Century
Church of St Margaret
Stratton Strawless
Norfolk.
17th Century
Cathedral Church of St Paul
Liege
Belgium.
17th Century
Cathedral Church of Our Lady
Rouen
France.
16th Century
Trier Cathedral
Trier (on the Mosel)
Germany.
17th Century?

 

 

 

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