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St John's Hospital
OS sheet 1850

There is a reference to the finding of a stone coffin within the precinct of St John's Hospital at Eastover.
Parker, G The Ancient History of Bridgwater 1877 Bridgwater: E T Page p 10 Footnote (h)
"The site of St John's Hospital was at the end of Eastover, and in digging for the foundations of a house near the present Queen's Head Inn some years ago was found a stone coffin." [Repeated on p 48]

A supporting account is in Jarman, SG A history of Bridgwater 1889 London: Stock p21
"At the time of the formation of the Bristol & Exeter (now merged into the Great Western) Railway, a few high mounds marked the site of the hospital, and in the course of building operations in that neighbourhood many interesting "finds" were brought to light, includings numbers of human bones, military weapons, a stone coffin, and a variety of other relics."

We can trace these accounts in the local newspapers. Taunton Courier and Western Advertiser 1 August 1838: Some men, in digging a cellar on the premises of Mr J,W, Sully, grocer, of Eastover, in Bridgwater, discovered a stone coffin, which was afterwards got out in a perfect state. No inscription was visible, but on the lid being removed, a skeleton of a grown person, supposed to be a male, was discovered. The remains were doubtless those of a person of distinction interred some ages back in a vault belonging to the ancient Church of St John, which formerly stood on, or embraced within its precincts, the site now occupies by Mr Sully's premises.
font - 35Kb coffin - 81Kb
A Purbeck marble coffin with finely ashlared sides covered with a slab with a delicate foliate cross in relief lying in the middle tomb recess, south aisle, St Mary's church. The small incised Lias slab on top is from a separate tomb. See here for further detail.
A broken stone font in the north porch of St Mary's church. Brakespear reordered that church in 1850-54, and it is possible that the font was transferred from its site of discovery in Eastover to its position in the parish church.
A broken piece has been inverted and set above the font. The octagonal base is typical for an early medieval font.

medieval tile
Medieval tile found on the site of St John's Hospital Blake Museum BWRAB : 1959/32

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