Monday, August 20, 2012

Suprising Find...

Another interesting discovery in my travels took place in a cathedral in England.  The picture below comes from visiting Salisbury Cathedral in Wiltshire, England.  The Cathedral itself, one of the finest examples of Early English architecture, is quite beautiful, and its spire (404 feet high) gives it unique distinction. 
The spire of Salisbury Cathedral is so tall, it's impossible to get a picture of the entire building as close range.

The many windows let in considerable light through the stained glass.

 The Cathedral was consecrated on September 30, 1258.  The spire was completed in 1380.  Because this building is so massive, my pictures don’t do it justice!  So, let’s move on to the “surprising find.”
I found the many, many effigies in English Cathedrals to be interesting. 

 The first medieval effigies emerged in the 12th century.  On a tour, I was told that images were drawn of the important people in the Middle Ages while they were still in their prime.  These were later used to create life-sized sculptures of a recumbent effigy, which literally means “likeness lying in repose.”  The figure would be wearing the costume of their station in life, their hands would be pressed together in prayer, and often (surprisingly) an animal, a dog or a lion, would be under the feet, serving as a foot rest.  Some experts say that the image of the dog symbolizes the person’s link to everyday existence.  

Here I have a picture of the effigy of Robert Lord Hungerford (1409-1459) found in Salisbury Cathedral.  He served in the Hundred Years War, and later was asked to serve in Parliament, from 1450-1455, as Baron Hungerford.   He married Margaret, the heiress of William de Botreaux, 3rd Baron, adding a significant addition of land in Cornwall to the family estates.   Because he has a sculpted angel at his shoulder and a fine dog at his feet, I’d like to think he was a really good man.

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