Bottesford: St Mary





'Fair Maid of Normanton'



14th century

With only the upper part of the body shown, it is as if the figure is lying beneath a sheet in bed. The head is resting on a double cushion, the top one of which is lozenge-shaped. Her hands in prayer, she is wearing a nebuly headdress of the kind that was fashionable in the late 14th century. Now lying at the west end of the south aisle, all that is known about the effigy is the inscription on the base:

Fair Maid of Normanton, brought from the Churchyard AD 1905.

There are various stories concerning the effigy.

Tradition is that it is of a young woman who, while playing one Shrove Tuesday, was struck by a ball with so much force that it fractured her skull, killing her on the spot.

Some believe it to be that of the nameless young woman who was buried in January 1598 after being found dead in Normanton Field. This is highly unlikely, for who would pay for a monument to a total stranger?

The style of the effigy points to the 14th century and may be that of a member of the Roos family.

Sepulchral Effigies of Leicestershire and Rutland
Text copyright 2002 Max Matthews.
Images copyright Bob Trubshaw or Max Matthews 2002.
No copying or reproduction without prior written permission.
Published by Heart of Albion Press