Sunday, 25 January 2009
More empty niches!
A little more evidence of late medieval devotion for you. This glorious Perpendicular tabernacle is in the east wall of the late fifteenth century north aisle of St Bartholomew's Aldsworth in Gloucestershire. No prizes for guessing whose image it contained, given the shields in the canopy with the letters S K, the barbed wheel on the pedestal and the two swords in the canopy - it was presumably St Katherine. I imagine an altar was placed directly below this image and the whole ensemble functioned as a reredos.
The external decoration of this aisle is particularly noteworthy too. The easter angle buttress of the aisle incorporates another image niche. Sadly there is no evidence of the image that it once contained. Above in the parapet of the aisle is a wonderful array of inventive corbel heads. Martin Beek's excellent photo does them rather more justice than the dark images on my photostream.