medievalwallpaintings

Dr Ellie Pridgeon FSA promoting the study of medieval wall paintings

1st February 2012 – Medieval Wall Paintings in Wiltshire Churches. Talk delivered to Calne Civic Society, Marden House, Calne. 7.30pm.

Dr Ellie Pridgeon will talk about medieval wall painting in Wiltshire (lost and extant), including the murals at Lacock Abbey.   The late-thirteenth century (?) St Christopher wall painting in the nunnery precinct is one of the earliest surviving images of the saint in England.

St Christopher Wall Painting at Lacock Abbey

Two wall paintings (St Andrew and St Christopher) are positioned in a chamber at the west end of the south cloister walk, an area which was probably occupied by three or four chaplains attached to the Abbey.  The precision and accuracy of the lines and rendering of the features, indicate that both murals are of the highest artistic quality.  The patron of the paintings, if not the Abbey itself then perhaps a chaplain, was likely to have been relatively affluent.  They may have been attuned to the latest artistic trends, and able to afford a painting executed in a progressive and undoubtedly expensive style.

Further Reading

Bardswell, M., Tristram, E.W., English Medieval Wall Painting: The Thirteenth Century, Vol. 2: Text, Oxford 1950, 557-558.

Brakspear, H., ‘Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire’, Archaeologia, Vol. 6, 1901, 125-158.

Ditchfield, P.H., ‘Lacock Abbey’, Journal of the British Archaeological Association, New Series, Vol. 28, Part 1, 1922, 41-42.

National Trust, The, Lacock Abbey, London 1994.

Pridgeon, E., St Christopher Wall Paintings in English and Welsh Churches, c.1250-c.1500, Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Leicester 2008.

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Doom Painting, St Thomas’ Church, Salisbury – Talk by Dr John Chandler

Wednesday 15 February, 7pm
The Damned Bishop: A lecture on the Doom Painting of St Thomas’s Church by Dr John Chandler at St Thomas’s Church, Salisbury. Light refreshments. Retiring collection in aid of church funds. Free tickets: contact 01722 322537, 01722 332373 or saint.thomas@btinternet.com.

http://www.salisbury.anglican.org/whos-who/news-and-events

Dr John Chandler is author of The Church in Wiltshire  and owner of Hobnob Press.

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Wall Painting of the Week: A Lost Chapel at Salisbury Cathedral

I have recently been researching the lost wall paintings from the Hungerford Chapel (Salisbury Cathedral) in preparation for a talk next week.  The chapel, which was positioned on the north side of the Lady Chapel, was pulled down by Wyatt during cathedral restoration work in 1789-90.   The chantry was established by Lady Margaret de Hungerford for her husband Robert Lord de Hungerford (c.1470).  Wall painting subject-matter included Death and the Gallant, St Christopher and the Annunciation.  The interior and some of the imagery was illustrated in Gough’s Sepulchral Monuments before the demolition of the chapel.

Death and the Gallant, Hungerford Chapel

St Christopher, Hungerford Chapel

This west-wall painting depicts St Christopher, who functioned a talisman or protector against everyday illness, sickness and fatigue.  Positioning this large image on the west wall, opposite the entrance to the chapel, meant that visitors could view the saint and gain the associated benefits on entering and leaving the building.

For detailed information about the recent archaeological excavations carried out on the Hungerford and Beauchamp Chapel sites see: Wessex Archaeology, Salisbury Cathedral, Wiltshire: Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results, Salisbury 2009: http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/files/68741_Salisbury%20Cathedral.pdf

Further Reading

Brown, S., Sumptuous and Richly Adorn’d: The Decoration of Salisbury Cathedral, RCHME, London 1999.

Cobb, G., English Cathedrals, the Forgotten Centuries: Restoration and Change from 1530 to the Present Day,London 1980.

Gill, M., Late Medieval Wall Painting in England: Context and Content, c.1330-c.1530, Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, Courtauld Institute 2002.

Gough, R., Sepulchral Monuments in Great Britain, Vol.1,London 1786.

Gough, R., Sepulchral Monuments in Great Britain, Vol.2, London 1796.

Hicks, M., ‘Chantries, Obits and Almshouses: The Hungerford Foundations, 1325-1478’, in The Church in Pre-Reformation Society, Barron, C.M., Harper-Bill, C., eds., Woodbridge 1985, 123-142.

Hicks, M.A., ‘The Piety of Lady Margaret Hungerford (d.1478)’, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 38, No. 1, January 1987, 19-38.

Pridgeon, E., Saint Christopher Wall Paintings in English and Welsh Churches, c.1250-c.1525, Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, University of Leicester 2008.

Shortt, H. de S., The Hungerford and Beauchamp Chantry Chapels, Salisbury 1970.

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The Highworth Church Wall Painting Tracing – Wiltshire Heritage Museum

The Highworth wall painting tracings (dating from the mid-nineteenth century) were re-discovered during recent refurbishment at Wiltshire Heritage Museum.  The most significant depicts St Eloy (also know as St Eligius).  Dr Ellie Pridgeon and Roger Rosewell spoke about the discovery of the tracings,  a talk which complements the publication of the article in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine (2012) (with photography by Jo and Sam Hutchings).

Wiltshire Heritage Museum, Devizes (photographs by Jo Hutchings)

Wall Painting Tracing from Highworth Church (held at Wiltshire Heritage Museum) depicting St Eloy (or Eligius)

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Welcome

Welcome to the wonderful world of medieval wall paintings.  More to follow very soon, including photographs from the recent event at Wiltshire Heritage Museum: Treasures from the Archive: A Wall Painting from Highworth Church (Wiltshire), organised by Roger Rosewell and Ellie Pridgeon.

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