White Hart Crest of the Royal County of Berkshire David Nash Ford's Royal Berkshire History

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The 'Aldworth Giants'
in St. Mary's Church, Aldworth

Sir Robert De La Beche. He was knighted by King Edward I in 1278. The figure is in plated armour with a surcoat. He probably died in the very late 13th century. This is the first of the nine effigies, carved between 1300 and 1350.

Joan, Lady De la Beche's Effigy in Aldworth Church, Berkshire -  Nash Ford Publishing

Joan, Lady De La Beche formerly De La Zouche, wife of Sir Philip. Her effigy, shorter than its recess, was moved to its present position out of the nave. Her costume is 14th century and the folds of the stress are quite stunning. Her pillow is supported by angels. The work is attributed to Royal sculptor,  Alexander of Abingdon.

Sir Philip De la Beche's Effigy in Aldworth Church, Berkshire -  Nash Ford Publishing

Sir Philip De La Beche, second son of Sir Philip & Lady Joan. He was a Knight of the Shire (Member of Parliament) for Berkshire, but was incarcerated in Scarborough Castle in 1322, until pardoned by King Edward III, five years later. He was subsequently Sheriff of Berkshire & Oxfordshire in 1332-3. His effigy is fully armed, with the visor of his helmet raised. He died in 1327.

Sir Nicholas De la Beche's Effigy in Aldworth Church, Berkshire -  Nash Ford Publishing

Sir Nicholas De La Beche, third son of Sir Philip & Lady Joan. He was made Constable of the Tower of London and custodian of King Edward III's eldest son, later known as the 'Black Prince'. He was granted leave by the King to castellate his manor of De La Beche in Aldworth and was co-founder of the south aisle chapel. He died in 1345.

Sir John & Lady Isabella De la Beche's Effigy in Aldworth Church, Berkshire -  Nash Ford Publishing

Sir John De La Beche, eldest son of Sir Philip & Lady Joan. He was a Knight of the Shire (Member of Parliament) for Berkshire in 1316, and also Keeper of Winchester Castle. Comitted to the Tower in 1322 by King Edward II, he was eventually pardoned by King Edward III in 1327. He lies in the armour of a knight, with dogs and a lion at his feet. he died in 1328.

and Lady Isabella De La Beche formerly De Elmridge, wife of Sir John. She was co-founder of the south aisle chapel with Sir Nicholas, hence the position of her effigy. The canopies of the south aisle were engraved with patterns from her seal.

Sir Philip De la Beche's Effigy in Aldworth Church, Berkshire -  Nash Ford Publishing

Sir Philip De La Beche son of Sir John. He inherited the family estates from his father and was Sheriff of Berkshire and Oxfordshire in 1313-14. He wears a mantle over embossed armour to signify that he was valet to King Edward II. Gaoled as a rebel, with his sons, in 1332, he was eventually pardoned by King Edward III. He is said to have been seven foot tall! He died in 1336.

Sir John De la Beche's Effigy in Aldworth Church, Berkshire -  Nash Ford Publishing

Sir John De La Beche son of Sir Robert. He was a knight and his feet are resting on a lion. He died in 1310.

John De la Beche's Effigy in Aldworth Church, Berkshire -  Nash Ford Publishing

John De La Beche, second son of Sir John and Lady Isabella. He died in 1337. The effigy is recumbent and without armour, a dog at his feet. This figure is probably contemporary with the building of the south aisle.

Arch for John Everafriad's Effigy at Aldworth Church, Berkshire -  Nash Ford Publishing

The external arched recess for the effigy of 'John Everafraid,' now blocked.

The brass of Edmund De La Beche, youngest son of Sir Philip & Lady Joan, is now lost. He was the Archdeacon of Berkshire and died in 1364.

 

    Nash Ford Publishing 2001; Photos updated 2014. All Rights Reserved.