The dictionary description of a 'Bier' is, 'a frame of wood for bearing the dead to the grave.' It could be summed up more simply as a wooden trolley. They were very popular during the 19th century but gradually fell out of use by the mid 20th. The Parish of Shrivenham had a very good one, made of the highest quality and that is probably why it is still in existence today.
We are indebted to two local people of the village. Firstly, Robert Gay, farmer from Sandhill Farm for safely storing the Bier at his farm for many years. Secondly, Vivien Moss who brought the existence of the Bier back to public attention, for organising it's transfer to the Science Museum at Wroughton, and for writing up a splendid account that you can read by going HERE.
Within this file is also the necessary documentation from the Science Museum Group
We are always on the look-out for more information about Shrivenham and district. If you have old photos, know of historical facts, old documents (especially deeds) please contact us...
If you would like to view any item please email us to make an appointment, details on the Home page.