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  • Writer's picturePhil

Windows. Walks & the Apocalypse

BBC 4 aired a documentary last night (or rather early this morning!) which is essential viewing for anybody interested in Coventry’s medieval history – “Britain’s Most Fragile Treasure”. Details of the program can be found here

The programme looked at the history of York Minster’s east window and restoration work being carried out on it. The artwork in the window depicts the entire history of the world from a biblical point of view from the creation right through to the apocalypse. Central to the work was renowned Coventry glazier John Thornton. Thornton divided his time between York and Coventry (he was based in Palmer Lane off the Burgess – the window shaped insets features on the wall there being tributes to Thornton and his work).

It is believed that the ornate stained glass found at the site of Coventry’s Priory (see previous blog enties referring to the Priory Visitors Centre) were the work of Thornton. The apocalypse theme was rife in 14th & 15th century glasswork and murals. Another major find at the Priory site was a large fragment of masonary from the chapter house (site of medieval English Parliaments) decorated with a mural showing apocalyptic themes. Coventry, like York was one of the most important medieval towns which is often forgotten following the destruction of the blitz and post war town planning.

Anyone walking along Belgrave Road will see an appropriate piece of glasswork on the top of the “flat topped hill” from which the ancient Caludon estate (and castle) got its name. In old English “Calu” meant flat and “Don / Dun” meant hill. There is a detached house with glass work fitting to the history of the area – including an armoured figure and heraldic shields. If you are interested in the history of Caludon Castle one of my walks offerings covers this (see “Walks” tab at the top of my site). The history of the site is fascinating.

During Saturday’s “Stoke Heritage Trail” walk offered by Stoke Local History Group (see my blog entry for Saturday) we walked along Brays Lane. One of the participants in the walk pointed out that some of the decorative glasswork on houses there which was similar in pattern and colour to that in some of the houses around the Omar Road area. There are various other examples around my Wyken / Stoke locality which I plan to investigate further and will report back when I find out a bit more.

On a more mundane note – following on from yesterdays blog my house “audit” and “freecycle revamp” is going to plan. Thanks to freecycler Alex a microwave on its way this evening!

Updates on all the recent themes in next day or two - time to rambling off now......

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