Saints, Structure and Spirituality
CHURCHES AND SOCIETY IN ANGLO-SAXON MERCIA
The surviving fabric of Anglo-Saxon churches offers a tangible link reaching back more than a thousand years.
Over four-hundred churches around the country have pre-Conquest features but the great majority, around 80 per cent, are dated broadly between 950 and 1100 AD.
Churches like Stanton Lacy, near Ludlow, where, alongside work of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, remains of the late-tenth or eleventh century incorporate characteristic quoining, pilaster strips and blocked doorways. Similarly, associated with earthworks at Earls Barton in Northamptonshire, the striking late-tenth-century tower is distinguished by pilaster work and openings.
Interest in these buildings is intensified by the fact that they take us to the heart of Anglo-Saxon society, culture and mentalité, including the cult of Saints, many drawn from royal and high aristocratic kinships. Saints and relics were a tangible force in the early medieval world, reflecting the standing and prestige of church, region, and kingdom. There was a real equation between saints’ cults and the prosperity of a people.
KEYWORDS: Anglo Saxons, Mercia, Saints, Churches, Christianity, John Hunt, BooksDownload the Full Article (PDF)