I found out something utterly fascinating a short while ago, and thought my readers might also find it interesting..... an interesting legacy from mediaeval times.
This is the grave of the last known "sin-eater" in Britain.
The grave is in Ratlinghope Churchyard, near Church Stretton on the Long Mynd, Shropshire.
Richard Munslow appears to have taken on the job after the tragic deaths of three of his children during a Whooping Cough outbreak.
Sin Eaters were paid a small amount to eat bread and drink ale across the body of someone who had died suddenly, before having chance to confess and repent, taking on their sins so the deceased person would arrive before God in a clean and pure state.
It was prevalent mainly in the Marches, the land around the England-Wales border, and in north Wales, but was rarely carried out anywhere else. The Shropshire writer, Mary Webb, referred to sin-eating in her novels.
The custom mainly died out in the 19th Century, being heavily frowned upon by the Church and Richard Munslow was the last known sin-eater, dying himself in 1906.