Wednesday 11 October 2017

Heart Burial

I happened across this fragment of something I didn't recognise recently and was intrigued to read that it is part of a late medieval heart burial. In times of warfare or trauma related death I can understand that partial burial may occur if you do not have a complete cadaver, but a heart burial is apparently something quite different.

Scurrying off to see what the internet had to say on the matter I now know that this was quite the fashion, particularly in the times of the Crusades. Knights often died abroad and it would have been very difficult to transport a whole corpse home. Instead the heart was embalmed in spices and returned to the loved ones in a lead or ivory box for interring here. One of the most famous is that of Richard I in 1199 whose heart in buried in Rouen Cathedral. It was examined in 2012 and found to have been preserved in frankincense [traces of other materials remained too]. For those who might like to see this for themselves  St Michael's church in Exning, Norfolk has a rare double heart example.



  1. Goodness me, that's interesting. Love that box. x

  2. Hmmm. Interezting amd very freaky to me to think of hearts being seperated from body.

    1. It does seem rather strange when seen from our modern day perspective doesn't it!


The Not So New Town

 If I asked you to name a New Town you might say Welyn Garden City, Milton Keynes or here in Sussex we've got Crawley. Some have fared b...