The church at Clifton Campville: lordship and community 12th and early 13th centuries

Figure 8: The Lady Chapel of Hugh and Richard – after 1361

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Figure 8:

The Lady Chapel of Hugh and Richard – after 1361

This is presumed to be the chantry chapel founded by Hugh de Hopwas in 1361. The chapel now houses the 1545 alabaster tomb of John Vernon of Harlaston and his wife, Ellen.

Photo © I M Curr

The chapel which is now known as the Lady Chapel seems to be associated with Hugh’s founding of a chantry in 1361.42 According to the deed which established the chantry, it was located ‘at the altar of the Virgin at the south side of the church’.43 This reference, along with a study dating the building styles and the screens,44 has led to Hugh’s chantry being identified as the present Lady Chapel. [see Fig. 8] Hugh employed a chaplain to say masses in the chantry for specified people including: Richard Stafford, Richard’s late wife Isabella Vernon, his current wife Maud and all their children, the Prince of Wales, the bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, Hugh himself, a couple who were probably his parents, his lawyer, all those who had died in any place where Hugh had connections, and a host of other people. The deed of establishment goes into minute detail about the duties of the chantry priest: it states the number of days absence he is allowed and says that, even when away from Clifton, he must still say the masses as stipulated. There is reference in the document to the muniments of the chantry being kept in a chest in the church.45 This might have been the chest which still survives in the church and which has been dated to the late 13th century.46 [see Fig. 9]

Figure 9:

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