Lovely, lovely stiff leaf

‘Early English capitals are not so much diversified as Norman. When foliage is introduced it is placed upon the bell of the capital; the leaves usually have stiff stalks rising from the neck of the bell, hence called technically “stiff-leaf foliage,” but almost always stand out very boldly, and with great freedom, so as to provide a very striking and beautiful effect, and they are generally very well worked, and often as much undercut that the stalks and more prominent parts are entirely detached.’

(J. H. Parker’s Glossary of Terms, 1850)

Below are a series of images of luscious thirteenth century stiff-leaf capitals from across the country. 

Torksey, Lincolnshire
Torksey, Lincolnshire

Low Marnham, Nottinghamshire
Low Marnham, Nottinghamshire

Inglesham, Wiltshire
Inglesham, Wiltshire

East Hagbourne, Berkshire
East Hagbourne, Berkshire

North Stoke, Oxfordshire
North Stoke, Oxfordshire

Skelton, North Riding of Yorkshire
Skelton, North Yorkshire

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