Monumental Brass Society

Posted: 2010-07-02

Monumental Brass Society

Being an inveterate church crawler, I run across leaflets for all sorts of local societies and historical organizations in the parish churches I enjoy exploring. On a recent visit to a little country church in Rutland, I ran across a leaflet with the picture of a medieval brass on the front.

That got my attention, because I find medieval brasses really intriguing; they provide such a wonderful record of period costume and historic detail of armour and clothing, not to mention family history. On further investigation, the booklet proved to be an informational pamphlet for a society I had not been aware of before; the Monumental Brass Society.

The Monumental Brass Society (or MBS for short) is a registered charity devoted to all aspects of brass monuments and incised slabs, not just in Britain but around the world as well. As the MBS website so beautifully puts it, "Brasses and incised slabs act as a picture book illustrating key figures in British history". Hear, hear!

The MBS was formed in 1887 by a group of undergraduates from Cambridge University who wanted to record and preserve brasses. Today the MBS has about 500 members. Annual membership costs £25 as of 2010, and benefits of joining include a copious annual publication, plus a Bulletin published 3 times a year, plus occasional publications. There is also an annual coach excursion and regular weekend conferences that include lectures, day trips, and workshops.

The organization is also implementing a research centre, in conjunction with the University of Birmingham. The MBS website at has details of brasses, brass rubbing, publications, a picture library, and calendar of events.

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