Wednesday, 22 August 2012

The tomb of Arnaud de Gabaston

Finding myself in Winchester last week, I headed to the Cathedral.   I knew that Piers' father, Arnaud de Gabaston, was buried there, and thanks to Brad Verity, I knew what it looked like.  Unfortunately, there is no plaque or information post next to the tomb - nothing to identify it as Arnaud.  I asked a guide there about the tomb, and he seemed very surprised that I knew about it, as he explained to me later that no-one 'ever asks about it'.  Amazingly, it was right behind me as I asked!  The guide told me it had been moved from it's original place but that it was 'intact'.  A lot of the tombs had been opened during the Reformation and by those pesky Victorians, who have an awful lot to answer for!  Nearly all the other tombs with effigies were of former bishops of Winchester and other clergy, so it was quite a surprise to see Arnaud's tomb.  It may be that other tombs of knights etc had been removed - I don't know enough about the history of the Cathedral.  Here are some of my photos.




The latter picture if a close-up of the shield Arnaud is holding.   For more on Arnaud de Gabaston and Piers' family, Kathryn has just posted her latest research on her blog. 

http://edwardthesecond.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/piers-gavestons-family-and-age.html

7 comments:

Kathryn Warner said...

Oooh, there he is, yay! :) :) I'm so glad you saw him. I'll add a link to the post on mine!

Anerje said...

That's very kind of you - thanks. Such a shame the tomb has no identification .

Kathryn Warner said...

Forgot to say thanks for the link to my Piers post! Yes, it's a real shame that Arnaud's tomb has no identification - a lot of people have heard of Piers and might be interested to see his father there.

Bryan Dunleavy said...

Didn't know that, even though I've been to Winchester many times. Must make the effort to find it on my next visit. Thank you for the tip.

Anerje said...

Hi Bryan. The big clue is that most of the tombs are clergymen - Arnaud was the only knight I could find. The guides will be only too happy to help. I'd been to Winchester before - years ago - and never knew. It definitely needs an information plaque next to it.

Stephen said...

I was there myself yesterday and took some piccies. It's a shame the there is no information panel or something to provide some background.

Bryan Dunleavy said...

Well I did go into the cathedral two days ago and resolved to look out for the tomb. I realised that I had seen it before but not "seen" it, if that makes sense. As you noted nobody has bothered to mark it or attach any significance to it at all.
By the way, the mortuary chests containing the bones of ancient kings have been removed. The cathedral are being very tight-lipped about it but I suspect that some testing may be in process and in a year or two we may hear something.