A Shire Album Book #230
If youíve ever visited a church or cathedral in Britain and lifted a choir stall seat to discover the carvings underneath, then this book will be of interest. If you havenít yet discovered the unique carvings on choir seats and bench ends, then this book is a good place to begin.
Misericords were used from the 11th century for monks to lean against as they stood for many hours in a day during church services.
Well illustrated, the book starts with an introduction to the subject by explaining the importance of the meanings behind the carvings and goes on to explain the details. The carvings were considered to be of minor importance, but visitors to churches today seek them out. Secular subjects as well as those of a religious nature are found on the woodcarvings. They give a unique insight into the medieval mind and everyday life.
The history of benches and their carved ends is explored. Check out the churches in the west country and East Anglia for the majority of surviving benches.
A section talks about the carvers and their work while another deals specifically with the subject matter. The meanings of religious scenes and imaginative creatures are explained in detail. There is a handy list of places in the different counties to visit to see the carvings. Donít forget to look for the green man in a number of churches.
Author Richard Hayman is an architectural historian and archaeologist who has been studying and photographing churches over many years. He has compiled many of the statutory lists of buildings of special architectural or historic interest for Wales and is the author of Wrought Iron in the Shire Album series.
For other titles and to order visit the website Shire Books
Cromwell House, Church St
Princes Risborough, Bucks
Tel. 01844 344301
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