Misericords of St Laurence – Part III

The Parish Church in Ludlow is famous for its 15th century misericords in the chancel stalls. These ignored carvings are found underneath choir stall seats and are mostly found in areas of the country whose wealth came from the medieval wool trade. The largest collection is housed at Salisbury Cathedral (106) compared to Hereford Cathedral (40) and the 28 intricately carved designs here in Ludlow.

Finally I have managed to get some decent photos of them all, so let me introduce you to them:

N1 – N5
N6 – N10

North Side 11 – 15

N11: Another one that is thought to have links with the Duke of York’s antecedents. This portrait of a king is similar to Edward III in old age, but as heads of kings are common on misericords and church carvings it could well be David or some other biblical king.

N11
N11

N12: An Angel blowing on a shawm with the upper part of the instrument missing from the right arm. Angels playing instruments are a common feature in medieval churches.

N12
N12

N13: The personal badge of Richard, Duke of York (1411-1460) is the Falcon and the Fetterlock. He was the manorial lord of Ludlow and owner of the castle.

N13
N13

N14: Plain

N15:  Four roses entwined with rose leaves and flanked by a double rose on either side, clearly symbolic of the House of York.

N15-HOUSE-OF-YORK
N15

Source of text: Historic Ludlow ” The Misericords and Choir Stalls” by Peter Klein (1986)

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Heyjude

I now live in the UK, but spent several years travelling and then living in South Africa. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

23 thoughts on “Misericords of St Laurence – Part III”

  1. I like The Duke of York’s badge. It must have been good to have your own armorial, recognised everywhere. Not much point having any written name displayed, when so few could read, I suppose.
    Regards as always, Pete. x

  2. The roses of course! We’re at the airport. Mick chilling with a Guinness. Rare indulgence because he usually has to drive at the other end. Take care of yourself. Back soon. X

  3. I must be honest and say I didn’t really know Ludlow as anything but a family name until I read your blog, but it does look like an interesting place to visit. Those carvings are wonderful. Dating back to 15th century? I think I’m right in saying that’s even before the iPad 2.

  4. These insignias are so very detailed and finely wrought, you feel you should be able to touch them and be zinged back to time of the persons to whom they belonged. Perfect little portals, in other words. The last time we were in Ludlow church looking at these very misericords, but not taking in the finer points as you have, Jude, the very nice vicar stopped to chat with us. I felt a bit guilty, not being an adherent.

    1. Thank you for teaching me a new word Tish! I’m not a believer either, but I enjoy the history and architecture of a church. The misericords puzzled me for some time. Now they fascinate me.I really must get to Hereford cathedral!

        1. I’m quite ashamed that I haven’t been there yet seeing as it is so near and have driven through Hereford many times on the A49. Need to do better!

  5. I’m glad you’re giving us just a few misericords at a time. They’re beautifully photographed and worth savouring. The craftsmanship is amazing. I like the angel particularly, partly for its imperfection.

    1. The angel is my favourite of this set. I thought it best to stagger them as otherwise people will just glance at a couple and miss the rest. They each deserve attention.

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