The ideology and iconoclasm of the Reformation did a very thorough job of destroying the cult of saints and the shrines and relics associated with them from medieval Britain. There are now only a couple of places in England and Wales where there is an untouched medieval shrine, complete with the relics of the medieval... Continue Reading →
Sitting above the town of Glastonbury and presiding over the Somerset levels, is a large hill of clay and blue Lias called Glastonbury Tor. It is surreal vision to see this hill appearing in the flatlands and it is no surprise that throughout history it has been a place of both real and mythical importance.... Continue Reading →
At the peak of it's power and prestige the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia stretched from the Humber to the Thames and from the Trent to the border of Wales. The kingdom was converted to Christianity in the second half of the seventh century after King Peada was baptised by Finan of Lindisfarne at Repton, one... Continue Reading →
My son and I have recently been on a week long pilgrimage across Britain to a number shrines and holy places. The purpose of the journey was pretty straightforward. Although ordained as an Anglican priest for over a decade, for much of that time I have suffered periods of ill health as I have tried... Continue Reading →
Incorporating images of donors or patrons into the works of art they had commissioned, was a common occurrence in the late medieval west and one that I've written about before. Often these images are shown interacting with other images within a work of art, focusing and portraying a devotion to figures of the saints, or... Continue Reading →
So much medieval art has been lost since the mid 16th century, here I look at some wonderful visual evidence of a lost rood screen from Norfolk.
This is a first in a series of brief articles on late medieval western liturgical dress and vestments. It is intended to provide a brief introduction to the terminology used to describe medieval vestments, for those who are unfamiliar with them. My intention is to provide a guide that will help fellow art historians describe... Continue Reading →
Rogier van der Weyden's Seven Sacraments is an extraordinary painting. In this post I explore the depictions of the Mass within and what it might say about the lay experience of the Eucharist in medieval Europe.
Not all medieval church textiles were made of rich and costly materials. This article looks at the stained or painted linen cloths, their use in church context, their production and a few surviving examples.
Today I am delighted to be able to share with you a guest post written by my colleague Dr Nicholas Groves, in which he discusses the evidence for the most persistent of Ecclesiological myths, that of the 'Devil's door'. Many medieval doors in churches are blocked up, some of the blocked doors are to the... Continue Reading →