13 S2014 15th Century Churches and Homes


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Parish churches and vernacular houses of 15th century England. The churches include rood screens and early bench seats. The style is the simpler perpendicular Gothic style. The homes are timber framed. Many of these, however, have later updates. Lavenham is notable for 15th century and 16th century (Tudor) buildings.

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  • Norman
  • In part the use of roods in the nave may have been driven by the more widespread introduction of screens, which would have blocked a view of a rood on or near the altar in the chancel. The earliest fragments of what must almost certainly have been screens in smaller churches date to the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, although it is less clear how representative they are. A small group of minor churches in Yorkshire, including Healaugh, Frickley, (Old) Edlington, and Rossington, have late Romanesquechancel arches apparently standing on low walls across the chancel arch, perhaps derived from a lost local prototypeBy the very late thirteenth and early fourteenth century, however, we can say with more confidence that screens were becoming widespread
  • he splendid Cantor's desk. This was used for reading the Gospel, and is unusual in having two ledges, one facing east, the other west. It may originally have been in the rood loft. The eastern side has an image of St John's evangelistic symbol and the opening line of his Gospel in Latin; the west face has, apparently pasted on, a fifteenth century versicle form of the Gloria.RanworthAntiphoner, a large singing book now in a bullet-proof glass case. This illuminated manuscript was produced at Langley Abbey, and used in this church before the Reformation, and then disappeared for three hundred years. In the 1850s, it was discovered in the collection of the merchant banker Henry Huth, but it was not until its sale in 1912 that it was recognised as coming from Ranworth originally.
  • Bench end or “poppy” head
  • Sign UpExploreUploadSign In←->⤢××Spencer MeansSciapod bench end carving (15th C.): The Church of St Mary, Dennington, Suffolk, EnglandThe Denningtonsciapod is the only medieval depiction of this mythical creature in an English church.
  • Men on south; women on north Corrspond to seating in church
  • Little Hall which was built by a family that had been farmers who decided that the woolen industry might be a better option. They settled here, starting with a very small and simple house to which they gradually added on as their business prospered, until they had a proper seat.
  • 13 S2014 15th Century Churches and Homes

    1. 1. Church and Home 15th Century
    2. 2. Norwich Cathedral Spire of ~1480
    3. 3. St. John, Bury, Sussex RSE
    4. 4. St Margaret's, Herefordshire, 1520
    5. 5. St. Helen’s, Ranworth , Norfolk RSE
    6. 6. RSE
    7. 7. Cantor’s Desk St. Helen’s, Ranworth Antiphoner
    8. 8. St. Mary’s, Dennington
    9. 9. 1287 Exeter Synod • “Alas we have heard that, on account of seats in churches, the parishioners are often vexed, two or more persons claiming one seat . . . • We enact that no one from henceforth may claim a seat in church as his own; noble persons and patrons of churches only excepted. He who for the cause of prayer shall first enter a church, let him select a place of prayer according to his will."
    10. 10. RSE “poppy head”
    11. 11. RSE
    12. 12. RSE
    13. 13. RSE
    14. 14. Sciapod RSE
    15. 15. S St. Mary the Virgin Wiggenhall N
    16. 16. A Simple Hall House
    17. 17. Hall House Upgraded
    18. 18. Lavenham, Suffolk Crooked House
    19. 19. DeVere House Lavenham RSE, 2008
    20. 20. Little Hall RSE
    21. 21. RSE