Medieval Stone Coffin

Web Coffin Hartlebury (c) Museums WorcestershireThis medieval stone coffin is the best preserved example of a number of fragmentary pieces in the Worcestershire county museum collection and is on display in the gardens at Hartlebury Castle. They were acquired in 1994 and were discovered in the grounds of Westwood House, near Droitwich.

The site of Westwood House was formerly occupied by a Benedictine nunnery that was founded and given to the Abbey at Fontevrault near the Loire during the reign of Henry II. Henry, his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine and their son Richard I (the Lion-Heart) are all buried at Fontevrault. Dr Nash’s History of Worcestershire¬†(1781), suggested that the nunnery stood where the kitchen garden was at his time of writing and that stone coffins and foundations were sometimes unearthed there.

These are the only medieval coffins in the Museums Worcestershire collections. They are fascinating in their own right but also represent all that is left of one of Worcestershire’s few Benedictine nunneries.


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