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N Tyneside

Tynemouth Priory, effigies of women




Commemorative Monument





Two sandstone effigies of women. The first is now standing against the wall of the 'guest house'. It stood for some years in an arched and moulded recess in the north wall of the presbytery of the church. The woman is unknown. The effigy is end of C13 in date. It is probably of local sandstone. The figure is carved in low relief and is now weatherworn. The head beneath a trefoiled canopy is covered by a kerchief or veil falling upon the shoulders at each side. The arms are in tight-fitting sleeves. The hands, on the breast, hold an object, maybe a bird. The loose folds of the mantle fall voluminously over the feet. When new it would have been a very graceful and beautiful piece. The second effigy now stands in the corner of the 'guest house' to the south of the cloister. It had been used as a foundation stone in the south wall of the nave during excavations in 1905. It dates to the early C14. It is of fine grained sandstone, but is much decayed and weather worn. The head rests beneath a cusped trefoil-headed canopy and is covered by a kerchief falling in folds on the shoulders. A wimple is beneath the chin, fastened by pins to the veil. The kirtle has tight sleeves. The hands are joined in prayer. A mantle falls in loose folds over the feet.




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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