'I will have one porch of stone ... over my grave' Medieval parish church porches and their function as tomb canopies

Helen E. Lunnon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The use of church porches as appropriate places for Christin burial is grounded in early Church rulings prohibiting internal interments. Textual sources dating back to Bede's 'Ecclesiastical History' provide evidence of the relationship between 'porticus' and decent burial, and the custom continued throughout the medieval period. This paper is primarily concerned with the adoption of this practice in the late medieval English parish, with emphasis being placed on instances where porches were commissioned specifically as graves covers. Consequently, the paper explores the impact this function had on the architecture of porches built for this purpose, particularly in East Anglia, and identifies key characteristics of the buildings which demonstrate how they align with attributes of other types of medieval church monuments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-65
Number of pages13
JournalChurch Monuments
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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