Effigy of William de Lanvalei
Walkern’s Magna Carta baron
A recess in St Mary’s church in Walkern houses this remarkably fine Purbeck marble effigy of a knight with crossed legs, in a suit of chain armour with shield, sword and closed flat-topped helm. It is one of only three known instances in England [see comment below] in which the visor is drawn down the face. The monument dates from the 13th century.
The effigy is thought to represent William (III) de Lanvalei (c.1182-c.1217) lord of Walkern and one of the twenty-five Magna Carta sureties appointed by the rebal barons at Runnymede in 1215 to ensure that King John adhered to the Law of the Land set down in the charter. William had inherited the manor of Walkern, along with several other properties, through his father.