Sunday Roof Angel, Cleeve Abbey, Somerset (2)

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The wagon type roof of the refectory in Cleeve Abbey, in Somerset, brought the biggest smile to my face, wonderful roof  angels.  The refectory was remodelled in the 15th century and the angels date from this time.


dsc_0850 July 2016

14 Replies to “Sunday Roof Angel, Cleeve Abbey, Somerset (2)”

  1. How beautiful! I have visited many, many churches in England to get a glimpse of the magnificent angels roofs and I love them all.:-)
    Wishing you a wonderful Sunday!

  2. I do so love the variety shown, so much originality compared, say, to Victorian funereal imagery too often limited to the angelic finger pointing upwards indicating “he’s gone up to heaven”.

      1. According to and angel roofs became popular in the 14th century after they were featured on the ceiling of London’s Westminster Hall. If you’ve seen the Wilton Diptych in the National Gallery you’ll know that Richard II favoured angelic imagery; and it’s possible his patronage was the direct inspiration for this decorative fashion which appears to have been popular from the 14th to the 16th centuries until the Reformation put an end to it. (You may well know of this angel roof website but if you don’t it’s a fascinating pictorial record of East Anglian roof angels.)

      2. Yes I do know it, it is a fascinating record. But I was thinking how did each carver come to make their roofs so different to other churches. I suppose they saw roofs in other great churches and just changed them slightly for their own churches. A few churches had the same carver, and you can recognise his work straight away. But the rest are so different to each other……intersting 🙂

      3. I suppose it must have been a similar system as that with masons, with a master mason in charge of a workshop or guild and lots of ordinary masons and apprentices below them. Whether ecclesiastical or secular there were likely master carpenters (who’d learnt the trade over their lifetime) who’d then do the designing for their team to rough out and then complete, I’m guessing.

      4. I think that is a very good guess, some of the angels are similar, but not as good as others in a church. Its just a shame so many were destroyed, as with the rood screens and stained glass.

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