Cost: Free

Britain's Medieval Episcopal Thrones

Ordinary Meeting of Fellows (Fellows and Guests Only)

Britain's Medieval Episcopal Thrones

Lecture by Dr Charles Tracy, FSA, and Andrew Budge

The proposed lecture is based on the research into the preparation of a publication by the same title (to be published in January 2015). In this work the monumental early-14th-century timber throne at Exeter Cathedral, as well as those at St Davids and Hereford, the stone thrones at Wells and Durham, and the oak bishop's chair at Lincoln, come under a searching empirical enquiry. The lecture will principally focus on the timber throne at Exeter and the two stone thrones at Wells and Durham. The Exeter throne is the largest and most impressive in Europe. It is a distinguished and early example of the English Decorated style, with antecedents passing, via Thomas of Witney, back to the court of Edward I. It exemplifies most of the historical and formal strands that suffuse the entire book – visual appearance, distinctiveness within the building, prestige, construction, stylistic context, finance, and the patronage and personal role of the bishop himself; as well as the subtler issues of the individual and collective politics of bishop and chapter, the throne's liturgical role, its relationship with the cathedral's relics (where applicable), its symbolism and what it tells us about the aspirations of the institution within the existing ecclesiastical hierarchy.

Book Offer: The publisher, Oxbow Books, is running a pre-publication discount. Order your copy of the book by the same name as this lecture here.

Episcopal Thrones