Ledgerstones, being the marble slabs set into the floor of many medieval churches, seal the graves of members of the middling sort of the Stuart and Hanoverian period who, as a result of their social status, were afforded burial within their parish church. They contain important family information and some also have - if spurious - a coat-of-arms. Those interested in genealogy and heraldry will find this a fascinating and useful talk.
This lecture is given by Dr Julian Litten. Described as “England’s foremost funerary historian”, Dr Litten devised the burial of the Unknown Mariner from the Mary Rose at Portsmouth Cathedral in 1984, was consultant to Westminster Abbey in 1987 for the re-display of its collection of royal funerary effigies, staged the re-enactment of the heraldic funeral of Prince Arthur (d.1502) for Worcester Cathedral in 2002 and advised on the re-interment of Richard III at Leicester Cathedral in 2015. His book, English Way of Death: The Common Funeral since 1450 was published in 1991 and has been reprinted on four occasions in revised editions.
Dr Litten is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and a member of the Royal Archaeological Institute. He has been a member of the Westminster Abbey Fabric Commission since 1993, of the Fabric Advisory Committee of Ely Cathedral since 1999, Chairman of Norwich Cathedral Fabric Advisory Committee since 2010, and Chairman of St Edmundsbury Cathedral Fabric Advisory Committee since 2015.
Dr Litten is Vice-President of the Church Monuments Society and also Chairman of the Ledgerstone Survey of England & Wales