Anglo Saxon grave slab, St.Peter's Church, Northampton.
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member greysman
N 52° 14.187 W 000° 54.204
30U E 643165 N 5789408
In the south aisle of this ancient church stands an Anglo Saxon grave slab, carved with birds, beasts and a Green Man.
Waymark Code: WMBCV6
Location: East Midlands, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 05/07/2011
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Dragontree
Views: 3

A transcript of the information panel next to the stone:

"Anglo Saxon Grave Slab

This finely carved grave slab is dated to the 10th - 11th century and shows beasts and birds entwined in vigorous scrolling foliage as well as a representation of the face of the Green Man. It is thought that it would have originally been in an earlier church which was on the same site as the current building. The stone was rediscovered centuries after being carved, and was found in a nearby ditch. It was subsequently used as a mantle piece and a door lintel, before finding the way back to the church.

The slab has been attributed to that of St.Ragener, an Anglo Saxon Prince who was slain by the vikings in 870, his grave had been forgotten until the mid-eleventh century when visions of an elderly man drew a priest of Edward the Confessor to the burial site. Many miracles were subsequently wrought at the church and the king had a great shrine decorated with gold and silver and precious stones erected for him here.

Sadly nothing of the great shrine survives, but one can imagine how impressive it must have been. Although the grave slab has been cut down by 3cm on one side, the carving is remarkably intact and it is one of the earliest carved stones in Northamptonshire"

St Peter's almost certainly housed the great shrine of St Ragener, who was nephew to St Edmund, the East Anglian king, and who was slain with his uncle by the Danes in 870. St Ragener's burial place was discovered in St Peter's during the reign of King Edward the Confessor and many miracles ensued. Devotion to the shrine of St Ragener continued at least until the 15th century.
Approximate Age of Artefact: c.870

Relevant Website: [Web Link]

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