Tomb of Archbishop Walter de Gray

The tomb of Walter de Gray, Archbishop of York from 1215-1255, and one of those present at the signing of the Magna Carta in June 1215, is located in the south transept of York Minster.

The tomb was opened in 1968. Several textile fragments were found, including a small piece of an embroidered cushion placed under the Archbishop's head. What remained of the cushion was the gold and silver embroidery; the ground material, perhaps linen, had disintegrated.

The embroidery was worked in silk with long-armed cross stitch and consists of a chequered design, on both sides of the cushion, of square compartments filled with different motifs. Such a decoration is also shown on the tombs of Henry III (r. 1216-1272) and Queen Eleanor in Westminster Abbey.

Source: INGRAM, Elizabeth (1987). Thread of Gold. The Embroideries and Textiles in York Minster. Andover: Pitkin Pictorials.

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Tomb of Walter de Gray in the south transept of York Minster.

Last modified on Thursday, 11 May 2017 20:21