30th March 2022
We were very pleased to have another lecture by Imogen Corrigan who gave us a very popular talk on the effect of the Black Death on the art of our churches a few years ago.
In her usual dynamic style, she gave a wide ranging talk with lots of illustrations of both religious and non religious art in medieval churches both in the UK and abroad. She started by showing us that
not only did churches have images that we would normally expect to see illustrating bible stories and theology but others showing daily life, including misericords recording wives mistreating their
husbands, one lifting a man off the ground by the throat and another woman beating her husband with a paddle.
Imogen’s MPhil is on the Green Man and she showed us lots of images which were very common in parish churches and in all pre Reformation Cathedrals. Properly called Foliate Heads they were only
given the name Green Man in 1939 and it is not a term recognised on the continent. Only a third of these heads are human and many more are of other beings such as dragons. If they are pre-
Christian, following Gregory the Great, they have been adapted into Christian symbolism as a sign of life continuing even after death and can be found on fonts and tombs as well on the walls of
We were shown many other pictures of instructional images, Christ in Majesty on the tympanum of pilgrim churches, the day of Judgement and scenes from the life of Christ and the saints. Of
particular interest was the painted column at our local St Mary of Charity, Faversham. And Imogen drew our attention to the number of eight sided columns in churches which represent the eight days
between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday along with many other connections between numbers and religious symbols.
Imogen explained that lepers’ squints were not used by lepers but by priests celebrating mass in side chapels to ensure that the moment of transubstantiation occurred simultaneously with the high
And perhaps the most useful piece of information came last. Did you know that know that a dragon’s strength is in its tail and the way to defeat it is to loop its tail?
Imagen’s lecture was much appreciated and was followed by the usual excellent tea we enjoy at Lenham Community Centre.