A Call to ARMS

A few years ago I had occasion to visit an art exhibit of some sort in the crypt gallery of London’s church of St Pancras. Quite what the exhibit was eludes me; it proved less memorable than the variety of broken armorial funeral monuments spread rather haphazardly around the crypt. I don’t know whether these monuments were formerly inside the church itself, or had been in the crypt and were shunted to one side to make way for the more modern attractions. One particularly fine specimen featured highly detailed palm trees and some sort of tropical motif, perhaps alluding to service by the deceased in some far-flung corner of the Empire; alas, it had been broken into more than one piece so I could not photograph it fully assembled.

Sadly, I do not have as many opportunities to haunt crypts as I would like, so I cannot say if many armorial monuments come to this sort of distressing end. One fears though that they may, and wishes that there were some sort of museum or repository where such unwanted heraldic art could be displayed and enjoyed – the Armorial Refuse Museum, or ARMS for short?