The Palm Sunday Cross

Ampney Crucis, Gloucestershire, originally uploaded by Vitrearum.Quite a number of medieval stone crosses survive in our churchyards, when I say survive, very few are as complete as the fifteenth century example at Ampney Crucis in Gloucestershire which I show above. Usually all you find is a base and the stump of a shaft. Often people... Continue Reading →

Elevation Squints in screens

Church Hanborough, Oxfordshire, originally uploaded by Vitrearum.One of the things I sort of obsessively look for and photograph in churches are elevation squints. These little openings can often be seen cut into the dado of medieval screens and were created to allow the faithful kneeling in front of the screen a glimpse of the Elevation... Continue Reading →

The fur Almuce – a long forgotten bit of choir dress

Newington, Oxfordshire, originally uploaded by Vitrearum.This panel of glass is in the beautiful church of Newington in Oxfordshire. The glass dates from the early sixteenth century and was jointly the gift of Dr Stephen Barworth (died 1511) and Dr Richard Salter (died 1518), they were both fellows of All Souls College, Oxford and sucessively rectors... Continue Reading →

The origin of two of Sir Ninian Comper’s textile designs

The Gothic revival designer Sir Ninian Comper (1864-1960) was a master at creating richly decorated ecclesiastical furniture and interiors. Many of the elements in his design work, notably his textiles, were derived from medieval sources, mostly North European panel paintings. Here are a couple of examples: This is Rogier Van der Weyden's exhumation of St... Continue Reading →

An expensive medieval glazing technique.

Warwick, St Mary, Beauchamp Chapel, originally uploaded by Vitrearum.I want to draw your attention to an interesting and innovative glazing technique that was developed in the fifteenth century. In many high status glazing schemes of this period, glaziers developed a method of leading-in pieces of coloured glass into a ground of white glass. This allowed... Continue Reading →

Medieval English encaustic tiles – some examples

Dore Abbey, Herefordshire, originally uploaded by Vitrearum.A few examples of medieval encuastic tiles, starting with the wonderful low relief tiles at Abbey Dore, dating from the 13th century, with most of the examples of the 14th century. Abbey Dore, HerefordshireWest Hendred, Berkshire Hailes, GloucestershireNuffield, OxfordshireGreat Haseley, Oxfordshire

Two fragments of painted stone reredoses

This is just the sort of thing that gets me excited, a bit of stone with a fragment of painted decoration on it that gives us just a tantalising glimpse of the liturgical arrangements that once existed in our parish churches before the Reformation. Here are photos of two fragments of the type of altarpiece... Continue Reading →

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