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Essex Field Club
Essex Field Club
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Geology Site Account

Dedham sarsen gravestone, DEDHAM , Colchester District, TM057331, General geological site

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Site name: Dedham sarsen gravestone

Grid reference: TM 057 331

Brief description of site:

In the churchyard of St. Mary's Church is a sarsen stone used as a gravestone (66cm x 42cm x 31cm in size).

It is crudely inscribed "Edwrd Ward and his wife Martha" and parish records show the burial to have taken place in 1690 (George 1997). The story is that Edward Ward was a local ploughman who came across this stone in a field during the course of his work and instructed his relatives to use it as his gravestone (Laver 1907). This is the only example in Essex of a sarsen being used for this purpose although the practice is common in Wiltshire where sarsens are more abundant.

Another sarsen stone (90cm x 75cm x 30cm) can be seen by the church porch.


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Reference: George 1997, Laver 1907

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