Tomb of King John

The tomb of King John rests on the pavement within the Quire at Worcester Cathedral.

In his will, made a few days before his death and preserved in the cathedral library, he asked to be buried in the ‘church of St Mary and St Wulfstan at Worcester’. In his lifetime, John had often visited Worcester and had contributed to the repair of the buildings after the fire of 1202. He had originally meant to be buried at Beaulieu Abbey in Hampshire, which he had founded, but at the time of his death that part of the country was in the hands of the rebel barons. Not surprisingly, his last thoughts turned to St Wulfstan. He died on the 19th October 1216 at Newark and was brought to Worcester for burial a few days later. After the rebuilding of the eastern arm of the cathedral, John’s tomb was moved further east, and surmounted by the recumbent figure, the oldest effigy of a king of England. This was marked by a splendid ceremony  on 19th May 1232 attended by King Henry III. Originally the effigy lay on the floor; the present standing tomb was made in 1529.*

Coat of Arms

Tomb of King John

More information about King John and Worcester can be found on the Worcester Cathedral website.

*From the Worcester Cathedral guidebook 2016

8 Comments CherryPie on Jun 26th 2017

8 Responses to “The Tomb of King John”

  1. I don’t even remember King John was buried there!

  2. The Yum List says:

    Wow. What a magnificent tomb.

  3. Hels says:

    King John’s interest in the French part of the Empire makes perfect sense, even though the relationship between the two countries over the centuries has changed. Regularly! Perhaps he should have spent more time across the Chanel.

    Anyhow I am glad he chose to be buried in Worcester.

    • CherryPie says:

      At the time Beaulieu Abbey would also have been a fitting place for burial. Although now it is in ruins so he second choice was more lasting and fitting than his first choice.

  4. Astrid says:

    The tiles on the floor are amazing so is the tomb. We watch Antiques Road Trip and they had a tour in this cathedral. We think that was very educational. We love the program.

    • CherryPie says:

      The tiles are fantastic and easily overlooked as is the ceiling. The tiles, the ceiling and the altar frontispiece all work well together.