Speaker: John Vigar
3 April 2018
The peaceful setting of most of our medieval churches cannot cover up the fact that they contain images and references to less savoury aspects of life. Medieval murals and stained glass depict the martyrdom of saints from home and abroad, and the grisliest of dooms. Underneath misericords are images of whippings, wife beatings, and brawls whilst stone carvings depict sexual imagery rarely associated with religious buildings. Finally there are many monuments and memorials that show scenes of murder and mayhem in goodly measure including stagecoach crashes, bridge collapses, falling trees, falling bridges, falling chimneys, shootings, stabbings, mine collapses, shipwrecks and explosions. This lecture shows a selection of images of murder and mayhem from across the country and explains both the stories behind them and their relevance to particular periods of history.
Professional ecclesiastical historian, author and broadcaster for over 35 years, John has visited and recorded over 13,000 churches in England and Wales. He is a trustee of the oldest church preservation society in Britain – The Friends of Friendless Churches.