Choice of place of burial in the Middle Ages was perhaps the most poignant indicator of belief in the efficacy of different sorts of religious intercession. Ariès concluded that the pre-modern response to death was public and communitarian, becoming only latterly private and individualistic. Most recent reconsiderations of notions of death and burial have concentrated on the early modern period. For this period, the distinction made by Ariès between modern, private, individualistic burial practices and earlier public, communitarian rites, has been revised, both in the sense that this change occurred earlier than Ariès would allow and that other influences were at work, in particular the formative consequences of the Reformation. Research into death and burial in the later Middle Ages has tended to confirm the communitarian nature of the rites surrounding death and burial. Burial in the high Middle Ages has been reviewed from a much more pragmatic rather than theoretical perspective, as a consequence of which the wholly communitarian picture depicted by Ariès has hardly been challenged. Presented here, however, is some modification to the Ariès thesis, supported by some very particular evidence, burials of lay persons who were not of patronal status, in religious houses, within the wider context of burial practices in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries in England.