medievalwallpaintings

Dr Ellie Pridgeon FSA promoting the study of medieval wall paintings

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

on January 20, 2012

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Gill, M., Late Medieval Wall Painting in England: Context and Content, c.1330-c.1530, Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, Courtauld Institute 2002.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Pridgeon, E., Saint Christopher Wall Paintings in English and Welsh Churches, c.1250-c.1525, Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, University of Leicester 2008.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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