Dr Ellie Pridgeon FSA promoting the study of medieval wall paintings

Some Cornish St Christophers

In December 2012 we visited historian Dr Jo Mattingly to examine some of the St Christopher imagery in Cornwall.

St Christopher, Breage

St Christopher, Breage, Cornwall.

The wall paintings at Breage and St Keverne are significant, not least because they are examples of very late medieval murals (possibly sixteenth century in date).  Church rebuilding in Cornwall and elsewhere occurred right up to the Reformation, and provides a terminus post quem for the execution of wall paintings.  The St Keverne St Christopher is particularly important because of the inclusion of rare scenes from the life of St Christopher, a feature found at Hemblington (Norfolk) and Shorwell (Isle of Wight).

Jo and I also visited the Cornwall Record Office to examine the sixteenth-century accounts for the (now ruinous) Berry Tower – or Holy Rood chapel – in Bodmin, which include unusual references to the funding of a St Christopher image in the church.  These are to be published in a forthcoming article on St Christopher wall painting patronage in England.

We also visited the largest (?) academic library in Cornwall and drank wine with renowned owner-historian-bibliophile-vet Dr Cockerham.

The Berry Tower, Bodmin.

The Berry Tower, Bodmin.

St Christopher, St Neot, Cornwall.

St Christopher, St Neot, Cornwall.

St Keverne, Cornwall

St Christopher, St Keverne, Cornwall

Leave a comment »

%d bloggers like this: