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Medieval English Roodscreens,

By Christina Anderson,2014-08-17 14:42
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Medieval English Roodscreens,

Medieval English Roodscreens,

    with special reference to Devon.

    Submitted by Michael Aufrère Williams to the University of Exeter as a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in History, June 2008.

    This thesis is available for Library use on the understanding that it is copyright material and that no quotation from the thesis may be published without proper acknowledgement.

    I certify that all material in this thesis which is not my own work has been identified and that no material has previously been submitted and approved for the award of a degree by this or any other University.

     ABSTRACT

    Roodscreens dividing church chancels and naves, topped with the image of Christ on the cross and often decorated with images of saints, were universal pieces of furnishing in English parish churches between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries. This thesis centres on such screens in Devon, while seeking to place them in the context of their history in England as a whole. It discusses their origins, the period of their flowering in the later middle ages, and their fate at the Reformation, which swept away their lofts and iconography but kept their basic structures. While the heart of the thesis lies in the period from 1300 to 1570, consideration is also given to their subsequent fate between about 1570 and about 1870, when many disappeared due to changing fashions in church layout and furnishing. It concludes by showing how modern conservation, since 1870, has preserved most of those that remained as well as studying and restoring them.

     The thesis uses all the available primary and secondary sources for Devon, and major comparative ones for the rest of England. It discusses and criticises the evidence of churchwardens’ accounts, wills, the writings of the Protestant reformers of the mid-sixteenth century, royal and episcopal visitation articles, injunctions and orders for the period during and after the Reformation, antiquarian researches of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Church faculty records, and conservation reports made on screens in recent decades, as well as the major modern secondary works on the subject beginning with that of A. W. N. Pugin in 1851. Attention has also been given to the screens that survive, and to how they were constructed and decorated.

     The research shows that considerable sums were spent during the later middle ages on the construction, decoration, and maintenance of screens in all churches, from cathedrals and monasteries to parish

    churches. Parish communities in particular saw them as status symbols, raised money for their manufacture, and tried to match the best examples in nearby churches. Screens throw light on church layout, since they emphasised the division of the church into two areas, and on the organisation and understanding of worship, which they were designed both to seclude from and to reveal to the congregation. The iconography of screens provides valuable information about the cults of saints in late-medieval parishes.

     Screens became an issue during the Reformation, which did away with the iconography of screens but usually tolerated their survival, thereby retaining a visual object important to parishioners and the traditional division of the church that the screens embodied. Although some screens may have been removed in the sixteenth century, the greatest period of destruction was probably in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, when screens clashed with the wish of Church leaders and people to have open church interiors with uninterrupted vistas, and in the mid to late nineteenth century, the period of church restoration when ecclesiological principles were at their most influential.

     The thesis concludes with a gazetteer of all the screens in Devon churches that survive or are known to have existed on the basis of historical and antiquarian records.

     TABLE OF CONTENTS

Abstract 2

    List of Figures 7

    Abbreviations 10 Glossary 13 Maps 18

CHAPTER 1. SOURCES AND HISTORIOGRAPHY 21

     Original sources 21

     Historiography of screens 31

     Contextual works 40

     The aim of the research 45

CHAPTER 2. THE EMERGENCE AND FUNCTION OF SCREENS 48

     Origins 48

     Types of churches and screens 50

     Screens and the management

     of the parish church 58

     Screens and the liturgy 62

     Conclusion 64

CHAPTER 3. THE REFORMATION AND THE SCREENS 66

     The origins of Reformation hostility to screens 66

     Attitudes affecting screens

     under Henry VIII (1529-47) 69

     Attitudes affecting screens

     under Edward VI (1547-53) 75

     Attitudes affecting screens

     under Mary I (1553-58) 85

     Attitudes affecting screens

     under Elizabeth I (1558-1603) 86

     Policies towards screens

     in Exeter Diocese (1558-1603) 98

     CHAPTER 4. CHURCHWARDENS’ ACCOUNTS AND SCREENS 101

     Introduction and terminology 101

     The financing and making of screens 104

     Images 114

     Repair and maintenance 115

     Imitation 119

     Screens and lofts 1547c.1567 120

     CHAPTER 5. THE SCREENS CONSIDERED AS STRUCTURES 128

     The elements of screens 128

     The construction of a screen 132

     Polychromy 135

     The carving and decoration of screens 140

     Carving and decoration: (i) cornices 141

     Carving and decoration: (ii) spandrels 146

     Carving and decoration: (iii) dados 150

     Carving and decoration: (iv) bay tracery 152

     Carving and decoration: (v) parclose screens 155

     CHAPTER 6. THE CLASSIFICATION OF SCREENS 177

     CHAPTER 7. THE ICONOGRAPHY OF SCREENS 201

     The study of screen iconography 201

     The iconography of screens: problems of

     identification 203

     Decoration of screen dados before the

     Reformation 215

     Dado painting between the Reformation

     and the present day 220

     The iconography of screens: analysis 222

     CHAPTER 8. THE HISTORY OF MEDIEVAL SCREENS

     FROM c. 1561 TO THE PRESENT DAY 237

     The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries 237

     The eighteenth century 245

     The nineteenth and twentieth centuries 247

     Conclusion 253

     CHAPTER 9. CONCLUSION 254

     APPENDIX 1. Gazetteer 261

     APPENDIX 2. Sample of Devon cornices 369

     APPENDIX 3. Sample of Devon roodscreen dados 374

     APPENDIX 4. Sample of Devon tracery carving 378

     APPENDIX 5. Sample of Devon parclose screen carving 381

     APPENDIX 6. Index of reports by Anna Hulbert

     on the polychromy of roodscreens 386

     APPENDIX 7. The Stratton contract of 1531 388

     APPENDIX 8. Devon roodscreens according to type 393

     BIBLIOGRAPHY 396

     LIST OF FIGURES

    Figure 1. Map of extant medieval roodscreens in Devon 18 Figure 2. Map of recorded medieval roodscreens in Devon

     which no longer exist 19

    Figure 3 Map of Devon roodscreens according to type:

     types 4-12 20

    Figure 4. Elements of a screen (1) 159 Figure 5. Elements of a screen (2) 160 Figure 6. Elements of a screen (3) 161

    Figure 7. Elements of a screen (4) 162

    Figure 8. Elements of a screen (5) 163

    Figure 9. Roodscreen, late fourteenth century

     (Welcombe c.1380) 164

    Figure 10. Roodscreen, early sixteenth century

     (Bradninch, not after 1528) 164 Figure 11. Roodloft gallery (Atherington) 165 Figure 12. Dado (Bovey Tracey) 165

    Figure 13. Vaulting (Berry Pomeroy) 166

    Figure 14. Cornice (Hartland) 166

    Figure 15. Coving (Willand) 167

    Figure 16. Roodscreen, facing the nave (Nymet Tracey) 168 Figure 17. Roodscreen, facing the chancel (Nymet Tracey) 168 Figure 18. Spandrels (Atherington) 169

    Figure 19. Spandrels (Combe Martin) 169

    Figure 20. Spandrels (Bridford) 170

    Figure 21. Tracery (Type A) 171

    Figure 22. Tracery (Type B) 172

    Figure 23. Classification of types of roodscreen 173 Figure 24. Tracery (Coldridge) 175

Figure 25. Tracery (Colebrooke) 175

    Figure 26. Tracery (Holbeton) 176

    Figure 27. Parclose screen (Nymet Tracey) 176 Figure 28. Type 1 roodscreen (Braunton) 187 Figure 29. Type 1 roodscreen (Calverleigh) 188 Figure 30. Type 2 roodscreen (Bovey Tracey) 188 Figure 31. Type 2 roodscreen (Broadhempston) 189 Figure 32. Type 3 roodscreen (Stokenham) 189 Figure 33. Type 3 roodscreen (Torbryan) 190 Figure 34. Type 4 roodscreen (Hartland) 190 Figure 35. Type 6 roodscreen (Halberton) 191 Figure 36. Type 12 roodscreen (Swimbridge) 192 Figure 37. Type 12 roodscreen (Pilton) 193 Figure 38. Type 10 (parclose) screen (Kingsbridge) 193 Figure 39. Type 10 roodscreen (Holbeton) 194 Figure 40. Type 11 (parclose) screen (Colebrooke) 194 Figure 41. Type 11 roodscreen (Brushford) 195 Figure 42. Type 5 roodscreen. (Chulmleigh) 195 Figure 43. Type 5 roodscreen (Kentisbeare) 196

    Figure 44. Type 7 roodscreen (Dartmouth St Saviour) 196 Figure 45. Type 7 roodscreen (Dartmouth St Saviour) 197 Figure 46. Type 8 roodscreen (Bridford) 197 Figure 47. Type 8 roodscreen (Cheriton Bishop) 198 Figure 48. Type 9 roodscreen spandrels (Lapford) 198 Figure 49. Type 9 roodscreen spandrels (Atherington) 199

    Figure 50. Type 9 roodscreen dado (Marwood) 199 Figure 51. Roodscreen (Broadwoodwidger) 200

    Figure 52. Dado motifs (Blackawton) 231

    Figure 53. Dado motifs (South Pool) 232

    Figure 54. Dado figures (Chudleigh) 232 Figure 55. Dado figures (Bovey Tracey) 233 Figure 56. Dado figures (Hennock) 234 Figure 57. Dado figure (Whimple) 235

    Figure 58. Dado figures (Holne) 236

     ABBREVIATIONS

    Antiq. J Antiquaries Journal Arch. Hist. Architectural History

    Bond and Camm F. B. Bond and D. B. Camm, Roodscreens and

     Roodlofts, 2 vols (London, 1909)

    B&GAS Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society

    CEAC, CCBD The Library of the Church of England Archbishop’s

     Council, Cathedral and Church Buildings Division

    CRO Cornwall Record Office, Truro DCNQ Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries

    DCRS Devon and Cornwall Record Society DNQ Devon Notes and Queries

    DRO Devon Record Office, Exeter EDAC Exeter Diocesan Advisory Committee EETS Early English Text Society EHR English Historical Review

    JBAA Journal of the British Archaeological Association

    JBS Journal of British Studies

    JEH Journal of Ecclesiastical History

    JMH Journal of Medieval History

    JMRS Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies National

    Archives (K) London, The National Archives, Kew National

    Archives (I) London, The National Archives, Family History Centre,

     Islington

    NDRO North Devon Record Office, Barnstaple NMS Nottingham Medieval Studies

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