monumental brasses

Also known as

  • memorial brasses


Deeply incised sheets of a hard alloy of brass, called latten, used on account of their durability, as memorial slabs over graves in churches; or let into the wall of churches as memorials, from about the 13th to the 18th century, in England and on the Continent. They were usually engraved with a life-sized effigy of the person commemorated and the accurate representation of the costumes and the armorial bearings, together with the border inscription, makes a valuable record for antiquarians. The lines were often filled in with a black substance, or in some cases with a black or red enamel; more rarely bright, varicolored enamels were used. Iconoclasm after the Reformation, vandalism, and neglect, have contributed to the disappearance of most of the brasses in Germany, France, and in Flanders where some think the art originated and where existing specimens are unusually fine. Even in England, where they were especially numerous in the eastern counties, there are only about 4,000 left. Among the best of those still existing are those of Sir John d’Aubernoun, at Stoke d’Abernon, Surrey (1277); of Nicholas, Lord Burnell, at Acton Burnell, Shropshire (1382); and of Thomas Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, and his wife Margaret, formerly in Saint Mary’s church, Warwick (1401).

MLA Citation

  • “monumental brasses“. CatholicSaints.Info. 21 August 2018. Web. 26 February 2021. <>