Church Misericords and Bench Ends
By Richard Hayman
(Shire, Paperback, 9780747807445, 64pp.)
Publication Date: October 20, 2009
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Although misericords were originally installed on the hidden undersides of church folding seats to provide comfort to those standing for long periods of prayer, the have gradually become more ornately carved and decorated. Now they, along with the benches installed in parish churches in the later middle ages, are the objects of a large proportion of the surviving medieval woodcarving in Britain. The subject matter of these carvings is not merely concerned with religion and religious symbolism. This book outlines the history of church seating, considers the status of the craftsmen and the influences on their work, and then explains the subject matter of the carvings.
Richard Hayman is an architectural historian and archaeologist who has been studying and photographing churches over many years. He has compiled many of the statutory lists of buildings of special architectural interest for Wales, and has also written a book on wrought iron for Shire.