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Tony Grist

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The Culpepper Chapel, Hollingbourne [Aug. 24th, 2019|08:18 am]
Tony Grist
The Culpepper chapel is tacked onto the north side of the chancel of Hollingbourne church. It was built in 1638 by Sir Thomas Culpeper, not only as a monument to his wife Elizabeth- "best of women, best of wives, best of mothers"- but as a family cenotaph. Elizabeth's tomb- the work of the distinguished sculptor Edward Marshall, later to be appointed master mason to the crown- occupies the centre of the building, while round the walls are stone shields designed to be filled with the coats of arms of the succeeding generations of Culpeppers. As it was, the family quit the area shortly after the chapel was built and most the shields are blank.

Elizabeth was a Cheney- and her sturdy, square-toed shoes rest against the flank of her family's heraldic animal- a very rare spotty beast called a theow- which- with its canine head and body, hooves and long, tasselled tail- is as close as the medieval mind came to realising a hyena.





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Comments:
[User Picture]From: puddleshark
2019-08-24 09:44 am (UTC)
That is wonderful! I'd never come across a Theow before - how extraordinary!

Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2019-08-24 10:14 am (UTC)
I'd never come across one either.

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[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2019-08-24 02:21 pm (UTC)
That is a fantastic tomb and I don't believe I've ever seen a theow though perhaps I have but didn't know what I was looking at.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2019-08-24 03:03 pm (UTC)
I suspect I've seen theows before and dismissed them as generic grotesques.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2019-08-24 02:51 pm (UTC)
I am always amazed at talented sculptors being able to make sheer fabric and drapes actually look delicate, even though it's stone they are working with.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2019-08-24 03:06 pm (UTC)
It's a remarkable skill.

Marshall isn't a famous name- not even moderately famous- but he was good.
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[User Picture]From: inamellowmood
2019-08-24 11:20 pm (UTC)
That's a remarkable piece of work. I love the theow!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2019-08-25 07:29 am (UTC)
The theow is wonderful.

But why would anyone chose it as their power animal/heraldic beast?
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[User Picture]From: inamellowmood
2019-08-25 06:30 pm (UTC)
Good question. I don't understand it, but then there's a lot I don't understand about the norms of that period.
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