(c.1239-1331) Prior of Canterbury Cathedral (1285-1331)
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The tomb of Prior Eastry, now much mutilated, was sited on the south choir wall beneath a window and is the only extant freestanding tomb commemorating a prior within the cathedral. In Christopher Wilson’s words it is a tomb that “commemorates a head of wholly exceptional calibre and was itself unmatched by any of his successors’ monuments.” Nevertheless, the monument does appear to be uncomfortably squeezed into its given space. Wilson also considers the tomb to be of higher quality than that of Archbishop Reynolds under whom Eastry served and whose tomb he lies immediately eastwards of.
Prior Eastry’s tomb chest appears to be made from Caen Stone upon which lies an effigy also seemingly of Caen Stone. The condition of the monument makes identification problematic, but from what can be seen one would be hard pressed to consider an alternative material. The effigy is rendered naturalistically showing a human figure in advanced years. Two canted pinnacles adorn the monument, one to either side, rich in ogee arches and other architectural detailing. The niches may have contained weepers, while the table top retains evidence of a stone screen that once faced the monument.