The Myllet brass and vault
The famous ‘Myllet brass' commemorates Henry Mylett who died in 1500, and his two wives and fifteen children. The figure of his first wife (on the right) portrays her exaggerated butterfly head-dress fashionable about 1480, whereas his second wife wears a head-dress in a later style from the end of that century. The Latin inscription beneath the figures translates as ‘Pray for the souls of Henry Myllet and Alice and Joan his wives, the said Henry died 2nd day of February in the year of Our Lord 1500, may God have mercy on their souls. Amen.'
A stairway was discovered underneath the brass in the 1965 restoration, leading down to a vault under the chancel, with a brick wall sealing it off. This was opened, and about 14 leather coffins were observed, but these disintegrated into dust within a few minutes. Three coffin brasses were removed and two, shown below, are now in the church museum. A diagram of the layout of the coffins made by the Rector, Rev Walter Hobday is shown, and a tantalising single photograph from the local paper shows the brick structure and three chambers of the vault under the chancel, which is still there today.
The Myllet brass on the nave floor The Myllet brass Brass rubbing of the Myllet brass Photo showing the brickwork and 3 chambers of the Myllet vault under the chancel Diagram of the coffins found in the vault on opening in 1965 A coffin brass, now in the museum after lying under the chancel from 1500 to 1965 A coffin brass, now in the museum after lying under the chancel from 1500 to 1965 multiple lightbox galleriesby VisualLightBox.com v6.1