A lychgate is a covered open structure, found at a church
gate. It normally consists of four or six oak posts embedded
in the ground in a rectangular shape. On top of this are a
number of beams to hold a steeply sloping straight pitched
roof covered in wooden or clay peg tiles.
The name is derived from the Saxon Lych meaning "corpse" and
gate meaning entrance. Hence corpse entrance.
The lychgates were built from about the mid 15th century.
It was the custom at the time for priests to conduct the
first part of the funeral service under its shelter.
During medieval times the rich were the only people buried
in coffins. The poor were carried to the lychgate and placed
on a stone or wooden table covered in a shroud before