The Tomb of Classicianus

Tomb of Classicianus, British Museum © David Gill

Two parts of the inscription from this funerary monument of Classicianus were found reused in the bastion of the Roman wall just to the north of the Tower of London in 1852 and 1935 (RIB 12). The bolster from the top of the tomb was found in the same location. This suggests that the monument was erected on the eastern side of the Roman settlement. The Roman wall dates to the 3rd century AD.

G. Iulius Alpinus Classicianus is described as the procurator of the Roman province of Britannia. He was appointed in AD 61, as a successor to Catus Decianus, in the wake of the revolt by Boudicca (Tacitus Annals xiv.38). Classicianus seems to have originated in Gaul. It appears that he died in office.

The monument was erected by Classicianus’ wife Iulia Pacata, daughter of Indus. Julius Indus is noted as a key person who countered the revolt of the Treveri in AD 21 (Tacitus Annals iii.42).

A revised reconstruction of the tomb and reconstruction is presented by Grasby and Tomlin.

Hawkes, C. F. C. “The Sepulchral Monument of Julius Classicianus.” The British Museum Quarterly, vol. 10, no. 2, 1935, pp. 53–56.,
Grasby, R. D., and R. S. O. Tomlin. “The Sepulchral Monument of the Procurator C. Julius Classicianus.” Britannia, vol. 33, 2002, pp. 43–75.,

Londinium: tombstone of Vivius Marcianus

Vivius Marcianus, London © David Gill

The tombstone of Vivius Marcianus was found during the rebuilding of St Martin’s Church on Ludgate Hill in 1669 (RIB 17). (The church itself had been destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666.) The gravestone was then placed in the Ashmolean Museum (that opened in 1683); it is now displayed in the Museum of London (since 1974). It is likely that this came from the cemetery outside (and to the west) of Ludgate.

Vivius Marcianus is described as a centurion of the II Augustan Legion. He is shown in the relief holding the centurion’s stick, vitis, in his right hand. The legion was based at Caerleon in south Wales. There is a possibility that he was attached to the staff of the governor.

The monument was set up by Januaria Martina, his wife.

Humfry G.G. Payne

Grave of Humfry Payne, Mycenae © David Gill

British archaeologist, Humfry Gilbert Garth Payne, was director of the British School at Athens from 1929 until his death in May 1936. His widow, Dilys Powell, arranged for him to buried in the cemetery at Mycenae. Payne is known for his work on Corinthian pottery and his excavations at the sanctuary site of Perachora.

Notice the copy of Powell’s The Traveller’s Journey is Done (1943) that has been placed at the grave.

Bury St Edmunds: Chapter House

Bury St Edmunds Abbey © David Gill

The chapter house in the abbey at Bury St Edmunds lies on the east side of the cloister immediately to the north of the abbey church. The chapter house itself was adapted by Richard de Neweport in the early 13th century.

The graves of the abbots are:

  • Abbot Ording, 1148-56
  • Abbot Hugo I, 1157-80
  • Abbot Samson (1135-1211), 1182-1211 [ODNB]
  • Abbot Richard de Insula, 1229-34
  • Abbot Henry de Rushbrooke, 1234-48
  • Abbot Edmund de Walpole, 1248-56

Rievaulx: Polite Request

Rievaulx Abbey © David Gill

One of the graves in the nave of the abbey church at Rievaulx is marked by a Ministry sign asking visitors not to walk on the grave. This is located close to the crossing. Recent wet weather has helped to obscure the sign.

Rievaulx Abbey © David Gill

For other heritage signs at Rievaulx see here.

Strata Florida: the resting place of a leg

The resting place of the leg of Henry Hughes, Cooper, Strata Florida © David Gill

One of the more unusual ‘grave’ markers in the cemetery at Strata Florida in Wales is the inscription for Henry Hughes.

“The left leg and part of the thigh of Henry Hughes, Cooper was cut off & interr’d here June 18th, 1756”.

Hughes subsequently emigrated to America.

Grave of Henry Hughes at Strata Florida © David Gill

John Ormond’s ‘Lament for a Leg’ can be found here.


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