The Tomb of Gwladus Ddu and William ap Thomas in the Priory Church of St. Mary, Abergavenny

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Abstract

The tomb of Sir William ap Thomas (d. 1445) and his wife Gwladus Ddu, ‘the Star of Gwent’ (d. 1454), is one of the glories of the priory church of St Mary in Abergavenny. The Abergavenny tombs have long been regarded as the best collection of funerary sculptures in Wales and are certainly the best studied. As well as Churchyard’s chorographical poem The Worthines of Wales, antiquarian descriptions include the diary of the Royalist soldier Richard Symonds and an anonymous manuscript of 1646 included in Richard Gough’s 1789 edition of Camden’s Britannia.1 Recent studies have included, as well as Lindley’s work, Rhianydd Biebrach’s PhD thesis ‘Monuments and Commemoration in the Diocese of Llandaff c. 1200-c. 1540’2 and the same author’s ‘Commemoration and Culture: the monuments of Abergavenny Priory in context’.3 There is nevertheless scope for more to be done. This article will look at William and Gwladus’s tomb in detail and consider whether new light can be thrown on some of the debates about its design.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-50
Number of pages16
JournalThe Monmouthshire Antiquary
VolumeXXXVII
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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