This carving was found by builders working with two church wardens who were re designing the rooms that join the main body of the church on the south side. This included the chapel we now know as the Broadley chapel and a room behind the De Selby effigies which was built to be the mens' choir changing room . It was somewhere in the walls that the wardens found this lady. Here is their tribute to her, translated from the latin script located above her.
THIS LOVELY EFFIGY OF AN UNKNOWN WOMAN, FAMOUS, AS THE STONE SHOWS, IN LIFE, AND MEMORABLE IN DEATH, BUT WHOSE MEMORY, ALAS! THROUGH THE FAULT NOT OF TIME BUT OF THE TIMES HAS NOW COMPLETELY PERISHED, THROUGH SOME THREE CENTURIES WAS WALLED UP AND SEALED WITH CEMENT, WAS DISCOVERED BY CHANCE DURING REPAIRS TO THE BUILDING AND UNCOVERED AND RESTORED
ANTHONY NORTH SOMERSCALES & BETHUEL BOYES, CHURCHWARDENS
YEAR OF OUR REDEEMER 1821
You can see the memorials to Somerscales in the south choir aisle.
In 1821 a carved figure of a woman was found during building work in the South Transept and Broadley chapel. Her costume shows that she is from around 1450-80. We cannot be sure who she is. The figure would have been on top of a tomb, and probably painted in lifelike colours.
Joan Gregg (1438), Marion Barnard (1458) and Margaret Darras (1481) and Agnes Bedford (d.1459) are known to have left money or property to the church to pay priests to say masses for them and their families after they died. These are called 'chantries'.