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Re-Used Elizabethan Ledger Slab in the Churchyard of Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary

A Grade II* Listed Building in Eccleston, Lancashire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.6549 / 53°39'17"N

Longitude: -2.7328 / 2°43'58"W

OS Eastings: 351663

OS Northings: 417853

OS Grid: SD516178

Mapcode National: GBR 9VC5.4J

Mapcode Global: WH865.ZDTD

Entry Name: Re-Used Elizabethan Ledger Slab in the Churchyard of Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Listing Date: 24 June 2010

Last Amended: 25 June 2010

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1393858

English Heritage Legacy ID: 507684

Location: Eccleston, Chorley, Lancashire, PR7

County: Lancashire

District: Chorley

Civil Parish: Eccleston

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lancashire

Church of England Parish: Eccleston St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Blackburn

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Listing Text

1837/0/10019

ECCLESTON
TOWNGATE (Off)
RE-USED ELIZABETHAN LEDGER SLAB IN THE CHURCHYARD OF CHURCH OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

24-JUN-10

II*
Effigial ledger. 1584 commemorating William Stopford and wife, re-used in 1812 to commemorate John Hodson. Located in churchyard at east end of Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Eccleston. Sandstone.

Large, thick rectangular slab with underside heavily chamfered and set slightly proud of the ground and aligned east-west. Stone has weathered particularly to south-west corner, and lichen and algae have grown on exposed surfaces. Original inscribed design of 2 full-length figures lying side-by-side on their backs with their hands held in an attitude of prayer. Larger, male figure on left. Both figures wear simple draped clothing, the male apparently with a large winged collar, and the female's head is hooded. Around the edge of the stone is a medieval-type border inscription, now largely illegible. A secondary inscription is heavily incised over the figures' torsos. It reads 'JOHN HODSON / WRIGHTINGTON / 1812'.

HISTORY: The original Elizabethan ledger would have been located within the church where its main purpose was to elicit the intercession of the faithful through prayer. The name and date are now illegible, but are recorded in the Victoria County History of 1911. It had an interesting secondary history being later removed to the churchyard, and in the early C19 being appropriated to commemorate one John Hodson of Wrightington, a small village in the parish of Eccleston, who died in 1812.

SOURCES
Wiliam Farrer & J Brownbill (eds), A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6 (1911), pp 155-62.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION
The re-used Elizabethan ledger located on the east side of the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Eccleston, is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* Its origin in the C16 as an effigial slab commemorating William Stopford and his wife, a rare example of this memorial type in Lancashire
* Its secondary history as an unusual example of early C19 re-use of a formerly internal ledger showing a continuity of tradition and the desire for perpetual remembrance of an individual by means of a memorial stone

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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