Poor Ralph of Shrewsbury. As Bishop of Bath and Wells in the fourteenth century, he did some good work. In particular, he built Vicars' Close to house the men of Wells Cathedral choir (thus keeping them away from the worldly temptations offered by lodgings in town). Having provided accommodation and a communal hall, he then gave land to provide an income.
It seems only fair, then, that he should be remembered within the cathedral. Sure enough, he has a rather fine tomb with alabaster effigy - but it hasn't received the respect it perhaps deserved. Instead, every inch of it is carved with graffiti- even the dogs at his feet have failed as guards. Most legible names and dates are from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but the process began in the sixteenth century when the effigy, once railed and in front of the high altar, was placed unprotected in its current location. Since it is alongside the choir, one suspects that choristers - for whom he showed such concern in life - may have been among those responsible.