If anyone is interested in the history of Bisham Abbey and/or is thinking of going to the Byzantium 330-1453 exhibition; on at the Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly, until 22 March, you might be interested to know that the uncle of a resident of Bisham Abbey is featured in the exhibition.
Katherine Grandison lived at Bisham with her husband William Montacute, Earl of Salisbury from c.1337 until her death in 1349. Her uncle, Sir Otho (Othon) Grandison, was a close friend of Edward I and accompanied him, when as Prince Edward, he went on crusade to the Holy Land in 1270. It is this uncle who is represented in the exhibition, on a spectacular altar frontal of red silk, embroidered in gold. His tiny figure is shown kneeling before the Virgin and Child flanked by St Gabriel and St Michael. There is speculation that this was one of his gifts to Lausanne Cathedral where he is buried.
So, If you visit the exhibition, look out for item 256, labelled rather strangely, a Funerary Cloth, on loan from the Historisches Museum, Bern. Maidenhead Civic Society has recently been given permission by the Director of Bern Museum to include a photo of Otho on the altar frontal, in a forthcoming publication about the Grandison family.
Archaeology in Marlow would like to thank Ann Darracott from the Maidenhead Civic Society for this information.
More information about the exhibition, which closes on 22nd March, can be found at http://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibitions/byzantium/
More information about Maidenhead Civic Society can be found at http://www.maidenheadcivicsoc.org.uk/