St. Alkmund’s Anglo-Saxon Sarcophagus, Derby Museum and Art…

St. Alkmund’s Anglo-Saxon Sarcophagus, Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Derbyshire, 6.1.18.

This Anglo-Saxon stone coffin was found when St. Alkmund’s Church in Derby was demolished in 1968 to make way for a ring road. The lid is sadly missing and only rubble was found within.

It is thought that it was made as a shrine for the body of St. Alkmund after he was killed in 800 CE.. Pilgrims would have worshipped at this relic.

It is carved from a single block of sandstone and weighs almost one ton. Whilst each side is decorated with a different interlace pattern, the interior is plain. 

It is though that it originally stood near the altar in the 9th century church and then in the 12th century it was set into the floor, with only the lid showing. Later it was completely buried and forgotten.