Misericords in the Choir

S.Paul’s has a fine collection of misericord seats beneath the seats of the Choir Stalls.

Following the medieval tradition, these oak carvings represent a strange range of subjects, some Christian, some classical, some fantastic.

As the Choir is rarely accessible to visitors and the underside of the Choir Stalls are even more difficult to view, these beautiful fixtures can be most conveniently admired here.

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Misericord - St Matthew
Thumbnails : Andrew Connal
Large images : Mike Williams

This carving depicts the traditional symbol of one of the four Gospels. A winged man with a halo and a scroll represents the Gospel of St Matthew.

This carving depicts an eagle with a halo and a scroll, the traditional symbol of the Gospel of St John.

Misericord - St John

Misericord - bat

Following the medieval custom, the carpenters carved whatever subject they liked, in this case a very Gothic bat!

This subject is a woman or a beardless young man in a veil surrounded by foliage reminiscent of the Green Man.

Perhaps it represents  a nun but it could be a fertility emblem.

Misericord - nun

Misericord - St George

This composite carving shows St George riding on a lion slaying the dragon.tenderly.

Click again for another view of St George.

Misericord - St George

Misericord - St George

Click image for an even tighter close-up of St George..

Consider the second fall of Jesus under the This carving of a bull with a halo and a scroll is the traditional symbol of the Gospel of St Luke. The bull’s horns have broken off.

Misericord - St Luke

Misericord - lioness

This carving is probably of a lioness breathing out fire, but it could be of a mad dog.

The reserve stalls, the clergy seats that face the High Altar, were added to the Choir at a later date and they all have these plain classical brackets rather than fantastical misericord carvings.

There is no larger version of this image.

Misericord - bracket

Misericord - winged demon

This fierce winged monster has a tufted crest of hair, a lion’s body and a demon’s tail.

This angel carries a shield decorated with the cross of St George.

Misericord - angel

Misericord - monkey demmon

This carving is probably of a monkey demon that is bound with straps and bandages.

Two winged dragons fighting..

Misericord - ffighting dragons

Misericord - St Mark

The Gospel of St Mark is traditionally shown as a lion with a halo and a scroll.

Click these links for presentations by
Dr Jennifer Fellows:

St Paul's  Misericords
S. Paul’s

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