Illustrated Dictionary of British Churches - Chancel Screen Definition

History and Architecture

Chancel Screen

A screen separating the chancel from the crosing or nave. Screens were generally of wood, and often topped by a large cros, called a rood (hence the alternate term, 'rood screen'). Screens could be fairly simple, but were often highly embellished with painted panels and elaborate carvings. Many screens were destroyed during the Reformation, being considered overly Cathiolic and symbolic of the kind of lavish idolatry that Puritanical religious reformers abhorred.

Yet many examples of medieval screens survive today. Some of the best screens in parish churches can be found in Norfolk, Suffolk, and Somerset, to name just a few counties, but in truth there are excellenrt surviving screens in all areas of the country. In larger churches and cathedrals screens might be made of stone, and could be profusely carved and painted.

Also known as: screen, rood screen

Related: Chancel   Nave   Rood   Rood screen  

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