This is a memorial to the de Brus family which was originally erected in Gisborough Priory, before being brought into the church at the Dissolution. It may have been given by Margaret Tudor, sister of Henry III, after the death at Flodden of her husband James IV of Scotland.
Robert de Brus I came to England from Brix in Normanby in about 1100, and was given extensive lands here and later around Annandale in the Scottish borders. He founded the priory, and his son William was the first Prior. Another son, Robert II, took on the Scottish lands, and from this line came Robert the Bruce.
The cenotaph has the English knights on one side, separated by Jerome, Ambrose, Gregory and Augustine, and the other has the Scottish knights, separated by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The missing West end is reported to have had the picture of a king, probably Robert the Bruce, and the East end has a seated figure, possibly the Virgin Mary, after whom the priory was named, or the enrobed figure of Robert de Brus I, the founder. The cenotaph is richly decorated with iconography, and would have been highly coloured when first made.
Much is still to be discovered about this wonderful monument, and the family which is depicted upon it.