Brian and Moira Gittos with the Cambrians looking at the east range of the cloister at Valle Crucis Abbey
Brian and Moira Gittos with the Cambrians looking at the east range of the cloister at Valle Crucis Abbey

I have previously posted on Valle Crucis Abbey but our visit there with the Cambrian Archaeological Association on Saturday afternoon as part of their Easter Conference, led by Brian and Moira Gittos, was a special treat. Upstairs, in the Abbot’s House, is an unprecedented collection of late medieval grave-slabs on display, found elsewhere in the excavations and clearance of the abbey, but also monuments reset into the post-medieval rebuilding of the East Range. What made the visit with the Cambrians such a special treat was the rare opportunity to view the cross-slabs in the Abbot’s House normally not accessible for public viewing and covered by trapdoors.

In addition to the complicated dynamic of showing a large group of people the details of these tombs, Moira and Brian were able to photograph the memorials for their own research. Below are some of the pictures of the visit. Looking as a group at grave-slabs out of context but covered by trapdoors was very reminiscent of numerous scenes I have witnessed in the excavation of human graves. The difference is that this is a ‘re-excavation’, without trowels, but with torches and exploring not an original context, but a first-floor repository of grave-slabs.

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