Cadaver Tombs

Church of St. Nicholas, Denston, Suffolk.


Photograph taken from the St. Nicholas, Denston page of the Sylly Suffolk site.

A fifteenth century cadaver tomb showing two figures lying in opened shrouds beneath a marble top.

 

Excerpt taken from the St. Nicholas, Denston page of the Sylly Suffolk site.

It seems likely that the grisly tomb between the high altar and the north chapel commemorates the Denstons, though the absence of the brass plates from the tomb table makes it impossible to be sure. The couple laid beneath the marble top are gruesomely emaciated in death and shrouded in body-bags realistically gathered and tied at the head.

This was an age in which the monumental mason and his clients - unlike those of both earlier and later periods - were more fascinated by the levelling power of death than by the transient glory that might precede it.

Church of St. Nicholas, Denston

 

 

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