With the increasing disappearance of stained glass in medieval churches, the surviving wood carvings on church misericords and bench ends are extremely important in providing an insight into the medieval mind. The carved images were often used to convey the messages of the Christian faith in the Middle Ages but they were not just concerned with religion and religious symbols - they also told stories of mythology, humour and satire, showing illustrations of everyday life and people. This book outlines the history of church seating and discusses the craftsmen and the influences behind their work. Using illustrations, the author then explains the subject matter of these wood carvings, revealing how one can discover so much about medieval life - the spiritualism, moralism and the wit - within the carvings still found in churches today.
About the Author
Richard Hayman is an archaeologist and architectural historian who writes on the history of the British landscape. His other books include Riddles in Stone: Myths, Archaeology and the Ancient Britons.
Table of Contents
Introduction /Misericords /Bench Ends /Carvers and Their Work /The Reformation and After /Places to Visit /Further Reading /Index