25 June, 2013 - 19:00
Westminster History Club, Lord Mayor's Reception Rooms, 18th Floor, City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London W1
shrine of edward the confessor

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The Talk

Edward the Confessor, who died in January 1066, inadvertently provided the pretext for the Norman Conquest and was canonised in 1161. His memory was revered by Henry III, who provided a new abbey church at Westminster as the theatrical setting for the Confessor’s shrine. Henry was buried near the saint, as were generations of his successors, garlanding the shrine with a series of magnificent royal tombs. But the visual influence of the saint’s cult spread far beyond the shrine behind the high altar so that the abbey church is steeped in imagery relating to the Confessor. Tombs and imagery tell a fascinating story of cult, piety and propaganda, which this talk will tease out from among the Poets and the Great Men.


The speaker

Dr Nicola Coldstream, FSA, medievalist and architectural historian, educated at Cambridge and the Courtauld Institute. Lived in Westminster for 43 years before moving this year to Oxfordshire. Has written extensively on aspects of medieval architecture, decoration and construction.

As well as teaching and writing, was a Deputy Editor of the Macmillan (now Grove/Oxford) Dictionary of Art; and edited the audio guide to the National Gallery collection. Books include The Decorated Style (1994); Medieval Architecture (2002) in the Oxford History of Art series, which won the Alice Davis Hitchcock medallion for outstanding architectural writing from the Society of Architectural Historians of GB. Former Presid