Effigy of Ailwyn

This stone effigy is presumed to be of Duke Ailwyn founder of Ramsey Abbey. It is probably a fragment of a larger Monument and it shows a bearded and cloaked figure with a key and staff in his right hand, standing on a stylized lion and dragon. It dates from the 13th century and is an interesting example of retrospective medieval funery sculpture.

In 1987/88 the effigy was displayed together with other treasures from Ramsey Abbey at the Royal Academy’s exhibition: Age of Chivalry Art in Plantagenet England 1200-1400.

A newspaper clipping dated 11-7-1945 tells us that:

The figure of the Duke Ailwyn at Ramsey Abbey, was dug out of a pond belonging to the house, at the time of Charles 1, when Colonel Titus owned it. The head was broken off in the frost of 1745. On examination the figure housed in the gatehouse could well have had a repair around the neck region, although well executed it does look slightly suspect! (ref 25)

The drawing in pen, shown on the left, is in one of Coles MSS, now in the British Museum ,vol. v.,fol. 101 where the figure is said to have been in grey marble. This is the kind of detail that would have been shown, when the effigy shown above, was first sculpted. (ref 7)