A recent visit to Harewood House provided an opportunity to photograph the alabaster tombs at All Saints Church in the grounds of the estate. Of particular interest are the collections of medieval alabaster tomb effigies, six couples dating from 1419 to 1510. Although originally painted, very few traces of any original colouring remain. See some images here.
The earliest couple are William Gascoigne and his first wife, Elizabeth Mowbray, dating from 1419. The next pair date from 1426, Richard Redmond and his wife, Elizabeth Aldborough. Richard lies in armour, Elizabeth’s costume is notable for a heart pendant and the flower sprigged templar nets of her headdress. The next pair of tomb effigies are similar in date and style, depicting William Rayther and his wife Sybil Aldborough, sister to Elizabeth. Sybil’s tomb is slightly damaged.
The next couple sees another William Gascoigne, grandson to the judge, with his wife Margaret Clare. Gascoigne is armoured, with some gilding surviving. The final couple date from 1510 – Edmund Redman and Elizabeth Huddlestone, Edmund the great-grandson of Richard Redmond and Elizabeth Aldborough. It is thought Redman’s effigy may be a personal likeness, although this is uncertain. At his feet is carved a tiny bedesman praying. Elizabeth too is clothed as a widow, with a rosary hanging from her girdle.
The type of armour depicted in these two Harewood examples is of a slightly later date to the Neville tomb. One of the key differences being the replacement of the aventail with a gorget; a steel collar designed to protect the throat. The Lancastrian ‘S’ motif is present and there may be some indication of an attempt at likeness in the features.
Above: Sir Richard Redman (or Redmayne) (died 1426)
Below: Sir William Ryther (died circa 1426)