Scottish external funerary metal plates

George Thomson (Author)

Artefacts, Funerary Metal Plates, Gravestones
20th Century, Fifth Thirteenth, Fifteenth Centuries Ad


Small external funerary metal plates made before the middle of the 19th century are given little
attention or ignored in most studies of British gravemarkers. These hand-engraved artefacts are
relatively common in Gloucestershire, Cumbria and, to a lesser extent, in Yorkshire. Although usually
referred to as brasses, most of them are made from bronze alloy and exhibit both affinities with and
differences from interior small brass memorials. They are uncommon elsewhere in England and are
extremely rare in Scotland. This paper describes the nine Scottish plates so far found in Scotland,
all but one in the far south of the country, together with details of the gravestones on which they are
mounted. Special consideration is given to the lettering of the inscriptions as a possible indicator of
their provenance. The reasons for the rarity of these artefacts in Scotland are discussed.


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How to Cite
Thomson, G. (2009). Scottish external funerary metal plates. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 138, 293–308.