Fragment of a knights tomb, Greyfriars church

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Fragment of a knights tomb, Greyfriars church

This sculpted Caen stone fragment depicts the head of a knight in chain mail, lying on a cushion. It formed part of a tomb in the church of the Dominican Friary in Exeter, on whose site it was found in 1826 (Bedford Street).

The flattened conical form of the mail over the head (coiffe de maille) indicates a date of c. 1260 -1300. The intact figure would have worn a mail suit covered by a tunic or surcoat. Tombs like this were commonly painted; several examples of this kind of monument survive in Devon, as at Haccombe, Modbury and Bere Ferrers.

Acknowledgments: RAM Museum