John Stratford (c.1275-1348)

Archbishop of Canterbury (1338-1348) – for more click here

In June 1348 John Stratford fell ill while at Maidstone. He died two months later at his manor in Sussex and was later buried in his cathedral on 9th September. His tomb monument has been slotted into the choir screen on the south side of the choir, as requested in his will, but somewhat awkwardly. The tomb is thought to have been designed by William Ramsey, King Edward III’s master mason.

Sadly, the tomb has been badly vandalised by iconoclasts, but the former splendour of the monument can still be glimpsed. The tomb is built from panels of Purbeck Marble. The badly damaged effigy is of alabaster (link to Stone page) and may represent the earliest known effigy made from this material. Alabaster has also been used for ornamentation around the tomb with some of the stone ornament reinstated during the restoration of 1906. Some medieval detail still survives, in particular note the small finely carved animals positioned as corbel heads beneath the truncated gothic arches in the tomb’s south side. The delicate canopy and side panels are of Caen Stone.

Tomb of Archbishop Stratford