April 21st, 2017

Medieval Survivals

The men with the hammers don't always seem to have done such a good job. Maybe they couldn't be bothered to smash every last window. Maybe it was the end of the day and old Bill's rheumatics were giving him the gyp and he didn't want to go up the ladder again, maybe they left glass lying about on the floor in a condition that allowed parishioners to gather it up and keep it safe against happier times. Whatever. The fact is there are a lot of churches (at least round here) which have preserved fragments of medieval glass. I'm not talking complete windows here- those are much rarer- but odd little bits and pieces.

Of course it's also possible (and in same instances is clearly and statedly the case)that the fragments were the gift of 19th century antiquarians who purchased them from curiosity shops in Anyoldwhere. Obviously I like to think that some at least of the survivals are in the buildings they were made for.

Anyway, here's an excellent example from Kemsing- an almost complete roundel showing the Mother of God with the infant Jesus.

Kemsing also has this. I think what we're seeing is John the Baptist in hairy shirt pointing out Jesus as the Lamb of God. I love the trees.

John Wigzell, City-son

Here lieth the body of John Wigzell, City-son and wax-chandler of London...

Simple mis-spelling or clever word-play? Whichever it is the locals clearly appreciated it because when the stone got broken they stuck it back together again and mounted it on the exterior east wall of the church.

This is still Kemsing, by the way.