medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Jon Cannon wrote:
> Forgive me for brief replies to kind and stimulating messages:

My replies are even briefer :-)

> - the axial chapels at Old Sarum and Chichester are (differently)
> interesting, though we know the dedication of neither - axial chapels
> could and were rebuilt and rededicated to the Virgin (Norwich). But
> much more so is the even older axial chapel at Winchester. I will be
> suggesting that the  Reformed Benedictine cathedral priories seemed to
> do rather well in preserving Anglo-Saxon Marian liturgical practices
> (and reinventing their spaces) after the Conquest.

But the difference is that for a cathedral priory the choir is the exclusive 
preserve of the monks.

> Nevertheless Willis and Hearn do seem to be right in one thing: that
> the first attested axial Lady Chapel is the late c12 one at Wells.
> And I like their architectural 'quotes' from Marian liturgies.

Maybe - but do we have a date for daily Ladymasses at Wells?

> Henry VII's chapel is the strongest evidence I have found for
> whole-community attendance in Lady Chapels: there are 40 stalls there,
> and they must have been for something. But it is late evidence, and
> that 'something' may not have been Marian, as the chapel was also to
> be a saint's shrine and a Royal chantry.

The Westminster choirstalls (although not their function) are described by 
Charles Tracy in his English Gothic Choir-stalls 1400-1540 (1990).  There 
were originally 28 back (main) stalls and 24 substalls.  There were no 
return stalls.

> Nevertheless I would love to pin down this question of how Principal
> Feasts would be marked (or not) in Lady Chapels.
> Jim, do you have evidence for multiple burials in the Rochester Lady
> Chapel? I believe the previous Lady Chapel was against the west wall
> of the transept, and the new one could almost be viewed as a kind of
> 'nave' for it. I would love to get to the bottom of its intended
> function.

I think it's just an assumption that the south transept was previously the 
Lady Chapel, but in any case the south transept was rebuilt in the late 
thirteenth century.

> I don't think there's any evidence for how either the Gundulf (if it
> is that early) or the Lanfranc era crypts at Canterbury and Rochester
> were used. Marian ritual is just one possibility. The attested early
> 'Lady crypts' are Anselm's Canterbury and Worcester.

The crypt east chapel dates from c.1200-1220.  It isn't really a crypt and 
seems to be related to the 'outer crypt' phenomenon.  I do wonder if the 
presbytery was extended eastwards over an existing chapel.

John Briggs 

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