In the quire of St. Mary's church, Warwick, stands an impressive medieval monument, its base girded round with male and female mourners in their everyday 14th century clothes, some a little battered by the careless passage of over 600 years.
The subjects of their grief lie atop this tomb, the 11th Earl and Countess of Warwick, Thomas and Katherine (formerly Mortimer), forever frozen in cold alabaster. Holding each others hand in the manner of a formal handshake, they present an image of a formidable alliance rather than a gesture of affection. Thomas is armour-clad, as befits a high ranking military commander who fought at Crecy and Poitiers, although by an ironic happenstance his death in 1369 was not on a French battlefield, but by plague, in Calais He died just three months after his wife.
Katherine's effigy has a placid expression, and wears a veil with an extravagantly smocked edging, contrasting with her plain and form fitting gown, the sleeves of which are fastened with over thirty tiny buttons . It is interesting to see closeup where the sculptor has misunderstood the structure of her headdress, causing a little confusion in the precision of the carving in one part, and has also not sought to give her a perfect figure, with the merest hint of middle age spread creating a slight muffin top over her flower trimmed girdle.
She gazes forever serenely heavenward, her head cushioned by angels who have largely now vanished, leaving only the imprint of their tiny hands, and with her pointy-shod feet resting on an uncomplaining sheep, in contrast to her husband's bear foot rest, who also looks uncommonly placid.
Hopefully she is now reunited with not only her finely-moustached knightly husband, but also her impressive five sons and ten daughters.