Friday, 28 February 2014

Preaching cross and rood screen at Derwen

I was out researching lane walks in Hiraethog, and came across this wonderful view stretching back towards Llangollen. The lanes here abouts tend to be heavily banked and fairly busy, so I did not develop a walk in my wet weather series. However, I did come across an interesting church at Derwen which contains an excellent preaching cross and a rood screen. This is a redundant church in the centre of the village under the care of those modern angels, The Friends of Friendless Churches. The churchyard is circular, so the foundation was probably very ancient

This is the view from near the church

This is the church house on the west side of the church yard. It is likely that this was a hearse house or lych gate. The upper story is approached by external stairs and was originally a parish room or vestry. 

The Preaching Cross. This is a 15th Century relic and would have been used as the focus of open air sermons by travelling friars and other visiting preachers. Its carved octagonal shaft supports a box-like head with canopied figures.

This shows the crucifiction.

This is a 15th or early 16th century rood screen, complete with its rood loft, and is unusual in this respect - only a dozen or so left in Wales. Most were destroyed during the protestant reformation because their main purpose was to display a large painted rood - an old English word meaning crucifix - which reformers condemned as idolatrous. 

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