'Monumental brasses' reflect man's attempt to perpetuate immortality, and are tangible link to medieval history, heritage and heraldry. They originated in Germany and the ‘Low Countries’, before gradually infiltrating Eastern England from about 1275.
An estimated 8,000 monumental brasses remain in churches around the United Kingdom - only a fraction of the original number, thanks largely to the dissolution of the monasteries during the reign of Henry VIII, and Oliver Cromwell's edict to melt them down for munitions and money. Those which remain have become an invaluable source of information on the popular culture of the period.
Torre Abbey lost all its original brasses during the dissolution. But the Abbey now houses a premier collection of 60 replica brasses available for the public to discover and enjoy the craft of brass rubbing, using metallic waxes and specialist papers. No experience is needed, and all materials will be provided.
The Abbey's collection varies in both subject and size: from 12” x 12” (30 x 30 cm), to 5’ x 2’ (155 x 60 cm) and includes ecclesiastical figures such as St Thomas Becket and St George and the Dragon. Royalty is represented by Robert the Bruce and Richard the Lionheart, whose fate was inextricable interwoven with the founding of Torre Abbey.