The Church of St Edmund, King & Martyr, Southwold, Suffolk – Medieval Carvings

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When visiting St Edmunds in Southwold, Suffolk, the second item that caught my eye, after the roof angels, were these wonderful medieval arm rests on the choir stalls.  These very fine choir stalls in the chancel have misericords, they are carvings underneath the seats which tilt up.  It is thought that possibly these stalls may have come from a monastery originally, because they are not the sort of thing you normally find in a parish church, now my mind is buzzing to know which monastery. The carvings are fascinating, all kinds of weird creatures and people, allowing the medieval carvers to use a bit of fantasy.  

One of the most intriguing figures  (photo above ) is a representation of a man who is pulling his mouth open, he’s probably got toothache!   But I will let you try and work out the rest, there is also a couple of nice poppy head pew ends.  Next post will be the graffiti I found.


18 Replies to “The Church of St Edmund, King & Martyr, Southwold, Suffolk – Medieval Carvings”

  1. How delightful! The one carving of the little critter with what looks like a screw cap reminds me of the cricket in Pinocchio.

  2. I think the carving you think is a man pulling teeth is actually a man playing a medieval double recorder. It looks exactly like this picture.

  3. That’s really cool! The monkey one..with wings? All I thought was OZ. Looks like fanciful fun on the artisans side, but scarey if they didn’t want their heads rubbed. Oh I suppose you could make up all sorts of stories. Really good fun and great up close work. Thanks

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