Shakespeare Connected - Discovering the Guild Chapel
Carved Wooden Angels
These carved wooden angels were probably attached to principal roof timbers or corbels supporting the roof and would have been painted and gilded. Two carry shields, which could have been painted with Royal or episcopal coats of arms, or the heraldry of the guild’s patrons, which survived in the stained glass into the 17th century.
Angels were powerful figures in medieval iconography, thought to be able to intervene in the lives of sinners, like the saints who adorned the chapel walls. Today, only one of the angels preserves its wings, whilst two have had theirs neatly removed. Were these figures altered during the Reformation to disguise their angelic identity, and enable them to survive alongside their painted counterparts above the roof of the nave?
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