Floating Coffin of Pinner – London, England - Atlas Obscura

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Floating Coffin of Pinner

One man's attempt to stay one step ahead of the church.  


There is a grave in the churchyard of St. John the Baptist’s church in Pinner that stands apart—or rather above— the rest.

A stone, triangular monument protrudes out from the ground, and thrust through its center is a single coffin. The monument is dedicated to William Loudon and his wife, Agnes Loudon.

Several stories surround this odd, in some ways occult, monument. The most intriguing is the one that suggests the coffin hangs because it was decreed by the church that William Loudon would only retain his property so long as he remained “above ground.” No doubt having meant that the property would be retained so long as Loudon was alive. It’s said Loudon’s son, in his burgeoning career as a landscaper and cemetery designer, created this clever workaround. The mysterious words cast into the monument’s ironwork, “‘I byde my time,” may suggest a certain truth to this tale.

Even if the monument isn’t an artifact of one son’s attempt to outsmart the church, it stands as a physical symbol of the Loudon family’s status. It’s also a reminder of the socio-political games that took place some 200 years ago in Pinner.

Know Before You Go

This is just a five minute walk from Pinner underground station

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March 10, 2022

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