Britain Express > Heritage Traveller > Misericords of the World

Misericords of the World

Posted: 2011-02-21

Misericords of the World

I love exploring old churches; every time I pull open the creaking oak door of an old medieval church I feel like I'm opening a treasure chest. One of the most interesting historic features of medieval churches to me are 'mercy seats', or misericords, carved undersides of wooden seats made to provide something for clergy to rest their backsides against while standing during long services.

I've probably photographed hundreds of misericords in my travels around Britain, but not nearly as many as the chap behind the website Misericords of the World that I just ran across today. This is a quirky, idiosynchratic, and thoroughly enjoyable site all about, well, misericords. The core of the site is a wonderful collection of photographs of British church misericords, divided into regional sections.

You can also find cathedral and non-cathedral misericords, find a misericord by century of creation, and even explore European misericords in Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland. Each collection of photographs is accompanied by a description detailing each carving. There is a brief overview of misericords in architectural history, and a bibliography for further reading.

Its a really fascinating resource if, like me, you enjoy historic churches.

Resources:

Misericords of the World website
Our historic church gazetteer


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