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14th century Archbishop of Canterbury’s face reconstructed

The head of, Simon of Sudbury, an Archbishop of Canterbury in the 14th century, has been reconstructed using his partically mummified head.

Seen as responsible for introducing the third poll tax, Simon met a grisly end when insurgents stormed the Tower of London during the Peasants’ Revolt, or the Great Rising of 1381. They dragged him from his chamber to Tower Hill, struck off his head and placed it on a spike on Tower Bridge.

It is believed that the gruesome trophy was spotted by a man from Sudbury, who grabbed it in the middle of the night and brought it back to his hometown in a barrel of brine.

While the archbishop’s body was buried in Canterbury Cathedral, the head has been kept at St. Gregory’s Church at Sudbury in Suffolk ever since.

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Story: Rossella Lorenzi, | Photo: Adrienne Barker

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