DOI link for Funerary monuments
Funerary monuments book
The Hirsel cemetery yielded what may be the full range of types of grave-markers in use in rural churchyards from the early medieval to early modern period. None were of a very high standard or workmanship, but perhaps the most remarkable survival was the area of the simple unshaped stones marking graves or grave plots north of the church (see Figures 6.15 and 6.16). The more elaborate grave furniture was unfortunately not found in situ. The coffin (FM1) may not have come from this site, nor the huge slab with a small incised cross (FM2), since both had been reused in later contexts. The cross shaft and head (FM6 and FM7), which were not connected, were recovered in 1977 from the stone dump after the field had been ploughed. No obvious setting was found for a cross base in the churchyard, and the socket stone inside the church which may have held a cross (see AF21) is the wrong size for the base of the cross shaft, so this may indeed have stood in the cemetery marking a primary grave. The shape of the only cross-head (see discussion below) seems to be 11th-12th century in date if compared with monuments elsewhere. It is suggested that it might be a finial cross for a church gable, rather than the top of a cross shaft, but it has been left with this group.