IN SEARCH OF MEDIEVAL INSPIRATION: PART 1(iv)

                               Fig. 73                                          Fig. 74

Figures 73 and 74 show misericords used by old and infirmed monks during lengthy services at Cley Church. The upturned seats show small seats underneath which allowed such monks to sit whilst appearing to stand. The misericords date from the 15th century, whereas the carving is from the 16th century. Having sat on a seat with the seat in the down position, I carefully brought the seat up and sat on the seat underneath, which raises you up so that, indeed, from the side (the view the congregation would get from the nave) it does indeed look as though one is standing. I enjoyed doing this very much. The carving on the arms of these misericords is fine (Figs. 75-81) and I am sure I can use these images in the future.

                                    Fig. 75                              Fig. 76

                                    Fig. 77                               Fig. 78

                                    Fig. 79                               Fig. 80

Fig. 81

However, the greatest sense of the position the clergy held in the 14th century came from when I sat in a misericord at St. Margaret’s Church, King’s Lynn. This was a very strange experience, creating a real sense of not only ecclestiastical power, but seperation (from the laity). These misericords date from 1375-1376. Sitting on the highly polished and superbly decorated armed seats (Figs. 82–95) has left a lasting impression.

                                   Fig. 82                               Fig. 83

                                   Fig. 84                                Fig. 85

                                   Fig. 86                                Fig. 87

                                  Fig. 88                                Fig. 89

 

                                 Fig. 90                                   Fig. 91

                                  Fig. 92                                Fig. 93

                                  Fig. 94                                Fig. 95


Figures 92–95 were hidden under boards due to repair work above the chancel and I had to scrambled in under the boards on hands and knees. These photographs were taken in virtually pitch darkness which meant that the only images I could get were taken with a flash, hence the light.

Fig. 96

One of these misericords (Fig. 96) had, underneath the seat, a carving of the Green Man (see Visits: Norwich Cathedral).