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Newcastle, Church of St. Nicholas, effigy of a knight




Commemorative Monument





A 14th century effigy of a medieval knight. Built into a tomb recess in the south transept. It is thought to predate 1325. It may have commemorated a contributor to the early 14th century church rebuilding programme. Some believe that it is Peter le Marechal, sword bearer to Edward I and an esquire of Edward II's household. He died in 1322 during border warfare and was buried in St. Nicholas' Church. The knight is cross-legged with his feet resting on a lion. He is dressed in a long chain mail coat and has a sword and shield. He has armour plated shoulder protectors (ailettes). Hunter Blair description - unknown person. Dates to circa 1310 - 1320. Sandstone, rather worn and mutilated but in fair condition. The head sits on two cushions and is dressed in a mail hood with fillet. The knight wears a mail hauberk with fingered mittens fastened by straps at the wrist. The hands are joined in prayer. He also wears a loose long sleeveless surcoat with a plain narrow belt. The legs and feet are in mail with leather knee-cops. The right leg is crossed over the left. The feet are armed with prick spurs and rest on a lion. The shoulders are protected by ailettes. The mail is depicted by interlaced rings. The sword has straight quillons and a round pommel attached by interlaced thongs to a broad sword belt around the hips, which is buckled at the left side. The shield is long, pointed and concave. It is held by a strap over the left shoulder. Between its point and the scabbard is a small figure with outstretched hands. There are armorials in low relief on the shield. In the absence of colour the knight cannot be identified.




Alan Morgan, 2004, Beyond the Grave - Exploring Newcastle's Burial Grounds, pages 16-17; C.H. Hunter Blair, 1930, Mediaeval Effigies in Northumberland [read on 24th April, 1929], Archaeologia Aeliana, Series 4, Vol. VII, pp 1-31

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