Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Glorious tomb commemorates an inglorious end for Edward II
King Edward II’s indecorous end — reputedly spitted on a red-hot iron in the dungeons of Berkeley Castle — contrasts dramatically with the calm elegance of his tomb at Gloucester, the nearest locale to his place of death deemed suitable for a royal burial. A fairytale arched crocketed canopy rises above the grave itself, and a study has shown in detail how it was assembled.

After Edward’s death in September 1327 his body, embalmed and sealed into a lead coffin, was brought to St Peter’s Abbey, now Gloucester Cathedral, and, after lying in state — with so many viewers that oak barriers were needed to corral the crowds — was buried there, 680 years ago this month.

More grisly stuff for 2008. . . . .