Illustrated Dictionary of British Churches

History and Architecture

Poppy Head

Poppy head is a generic term applied to the carved finial of a wooden bench end. Although an actual carving of a poppy head was frequently used, in practice poppy-heads might be carved to represent practically anything, from animals, birds, grotesque mytholigical creatures, angels, saints, religious symbols, and human figures. Some of the more overtly religious carvings were intentionally damaged by iconoclasts during the Reformation, and in some churches you can clearly see where poppy-heads have been lopped off or defaced.

Related: Bench End   Grotesque  

Thompson, Norfolk

Thompson, Norfolk

Attraction search

National Trust

National Trust membership

National Trust membership

Free entry to National Trust properties throughout England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, plus discounted admission to National Trust for Scotand properties.

Membership details

About the National Trust

Name the mystery historic attraction
See larger image

Henry VIII's successful suppression of monastic settlements became known as ...

18 March, 978

Murder of King Edward

The young King Edward, who had only been on the throne for 3 years, was murdered at Corfe Castle, Dorset, probably with the connivance of his step-mother. Edward, later canonized, was succeeded by his half-brother Ethelred, known to history by the unfortunate soubriquet, Ethelred the Unready

This king confronted Wat Tyler during the Peasant's Revolt of 1381

Passionate about British Heritage!