Heart Burial

Gloucestershire heart burial

In the Gloucestershire village of Coberley, there stands a church that contains the only heart burial in the county. The heart belonged to Sir Giles Berkeley, who had fought in the Crusades, only to die shortly after arriving home. He died from a short illness in 1294.

It was usual for crusader knights, who had died in far flung places, to have their hearts sent back home for internment as being able to transport the whole body at that time was unfeasible due to the time it would take to transport a corpse especially without being able to keep it in a temperature controlled environment! It is assumed that Sir Giles Berkeley wanted to follow the tradition of his heart being interned to what was once his place of home.