Alabaster at Clifton


In the church of St.Marys at Clifton are a number of alabaster tombs noted by Fellows* in his pioneering study of Nottinghamshire alabaster.  The following descriptions are provided by Fellows.


Tombs 1 & 2: Under the north window of the transept, are two alabaster altar tombs - one of a knight, another of a lady.

The knight lies on an embattled tomb with his head resting on his helmet.  He wears plate armour, and on his jupon the Clifton arms are shown.  The costume looks to be of the latter part of the 14th century or early 15th century.

A possible identification (suggests Fellows* (p.2)) is Sir Johannes de Clifton who was killed at Shrewesbury in 1403.

The Lady (suggests J.T. Godfrey in his 'Nottinghamshire Churches' p.53) is possible Alice, daughter of Thomas Nevill of Rolleston, widow of Thomas (or Richard) Turland, who married Sir Gervase Clifton in the 15th century.

Her head is attired in frets of network and supported by angels; on either side hangs a veil; her dress is close fitting and the tight sleeves are continued to the base of the fingers.  There is a chain round her waist from which is suspended a pomander.  At her feet is a lamb.


Tomb 3: Transcept, south side.  A large alabaster tomb to Sir Gervase Clifton (d.1587) and his two wives.  Sir Gervase is represented in effigy lying between them.  He is clad in a complete suit of plate armour, below which may be seen a baguette of chain mail.  He wears a ruff round his neck and a heavy double chain around his shoulders.  His head rests on his helmet, and his hair is depicted as eleborately curled.  A daggaer and his gauntlets lie at his right side.

Both wives - Maria and Winifred - have ruffs round their necks and wrists with close fitting caps on their heads.  Their heads rest on cushions.

The whole monument is of richly coloured alabaster, but suffered damage in a move within the church.

Along the north side of this tomb are four shields carved in alabaster, one of which is supported by a figure in armour which Thoroton identifies as Sir Gervase's oldest son, George.

On the west end ate three more shields, whilst on the south side are five figures, three of which represent Sir Gervase's sons - George, Robert and Anthoni who died young - and his two daughters Elizabeth and Frances.


Tomb 4:  Against the west wall of the ranscept is another large monument, this time to the first three wives of Sir Gervase (First baronet).  A shield with the Clifton arms is at the top.  Below is a line of three shields and flanking the central position of the monument are two pinnacles with shields.






* FELLOWS, George 'Arms, Armour & Alabaster Round Nottingham' (Nottingham: H.B. Saxton, 1907)

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