This paper explores two contexts for Francis Skidmore and George Gilbert Scott's screen at Hereford Cathedral. First, it locates the screen within a succession of choir screens at Hereford from the middle ages to the present, thereby charting the typology of the choir screen within a single institutional context. Second, it shows that Skidmore and Scott's work at Hereford should be understood in light of their related work at Lichfield and Salisbury, and that, more distantly, the three buildings were subject to significant "improvements" in the eighteenth century that Scott and Skidmore's work was intended to erase.
Many viewers of the Hereford Screen (now in the V&A) would no doubt agree with a commentator who saw it at the 1862 International Exhibition in London and called it “the grandest, most triumphant achievement of modern architectural art” (fig. 1).1 Although a work of the Gothic Revival, its style and material character is inconsistent with the medieval building in which it was placed, and its sinuous forms make no obvious allusion to the history of English medieval great church screens (nor, for the most part, does its material). For this reason and others, scholars have tended to study it within its immediate Victorian context as a stunning work of Gothic modernity (which it surely is), thereby privileging its moment of inception and its immediate aesthetic, technical, and historical aspects. But Skidmore and Scott’s screen was at least the fourth choir screen at Hereford. It replaced a fourteenth-century screen that was taken down in 1841 under the aegis of Dean Merewether and Lewis Nockalls Cottingham as part of a broader campaign to re-medievalize the cathedral choir after the devastations of the eighteenth century, which was itself the replacement of an earlier screen from the thirteenth-century remodelling. A prior screen must have existed in the Romanesque building, and further screens before that, even if we cannot chart them with accuracy. Like its medieval predecessors, the Hereford Screen would also fall out of fashion or be deemed inappropriate in a great church; by 1897 it was deemed “gorgeous . . . but not so particularly artistic . . . a great deal too gaudy and glittering for its place”, and by 1967 it was removed altogether.2 While the emancipation of a modern, Gothic Revival object from its medieval typological and institutional history is, more often than not, an accepted methodological premise in scholarship on the Gothic Revival, this paper argues in the opposite direction by positioning the screen within a series of monuments, thereby reconnecting a work of medieval revival to the Middle Ages itself. This demands understanding not only the morphology of Hereford Cathedral’s choir space from the middle ages to the present, but also its changing liturgical functions and requirements. It takes the form of a “reverse archaeology”, beginning at the bottom of the sedimented history of the screen and working chronologically forward to Scott and Skidmore.3 My thinking along these lines is indebted, on the one hand, to current work on anachronic appraisals of the art object in which an object can exist (or be implicated) in multiple temporalities, and on the other, to what Nicola Camerlenghi has called, following the historians of the Annales School, the longue durée of medieval buildings.4 Implicit in this approach is my own belief that medievalists and Gothic Revivalists not only have much to learn from each other, but that the study of medieval forms cannot readily be tethered to one period (the “Middle Ages” or “modernity”) since they consistently demand to be explored “out of time”.5
Not atypical of English medieval religious objects and ornamenta, choir screens in England are precious survivals. Early screens were regularly replaced during building campaigns in the high and later Middle Ages such that English churches now retain a relative wealth of late medieval examples of great screens but few from the eleventh, twelfth, or thirteenth centuries. Where they do survive, they are not in their original position or even, in some cases (including our own), in their original building, and they require archaeological reconstruction and recontextualization.6 There appear to be no obvious English medieval designs for or representations of cathedral choir screens in contemporary drawings or paintings, although our knowledge is occasionally supplemented by documentary or literary accounts, such as Henry of Avranches’s extraordinary thirteenth-century description of St Hugh’s choir screen at Lincoln:
The entrance to the choir is painted with a golden majesty. Christ crucified is properly expressed by His proper image, and the course of His life is there worked in consummately.
Not only the cross or image, but the broad surface of six pillars and two wooden panels blazes with tested gold.7
When not rebuilt during the course of the Middle Ages, screens were subjects of iconoclasm during the Dissolution, and were subsequently altered, destroyed, or replaced according to changing tastes and liturgical functions in the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries. The study of the Hereford Screen is, in these respects, typical of the study of medieval choir screens generally. Also, while there is a wealth of scholarship on English screens (much of which began with the same medievalist and ecclesiological movement that gave birth to the Skidmore and Scott screen), still no comprehensive account of the choir screen in English, much less British art, has been written.8
The Hereford Screens: Romanesque to RevivalDOI
There is no conclusive evidence for the existence of a choir screen in the post-Conquest Hereford cathedral, built from 1107 to 1148, although we can safely surmise that a screen was part of its basic liturgical topography. As Malcolm Thurlby has argued, the capitals from the western crossing piers may provide evidence for the position of the Romanesque screen. Their sculptural elaboration suggests that, typical of medieval architecture, they functioned as liturgical markers to articulate a place of sanctity, which is consistent with the likely location of the choir screen.9 The Romanesque capitals were recarved by Lewis Nockalls Cottingham during his nineteenth-century reconstruction (of which more is said below), although we know from documentation that Cottingham insisted on the precise replacement of the medieval stonework, indicating that the recarved capitals followed the original design. While we have no fabric evidence that can be securely attributed to the Romanesque screen (and Cottingham’s restorations have removed any masonry scars or set-in marks), Thurlby’s reading of the fabric accords with liturgical custom.10 Whatever Romanesque screen may have existed, it was surely replaced in the early Gothic extension and remodelling of the eastern arm. Completed in two phases, it comprised the new eastern transepts (which included east-facing transept chapels) and the bays of the retrochoir and Lady Chapel vestibule, all of which is attributed to the episcopate of William de Vere (1186–98). Following a break of some twenty years, around 1220 the crypt and Lady Chapel above were built, followed by the remodelling of the chancel in the 1230s, including a new vault and clerestory. All of this was likely intended as space for the burgeoning cult of St Ethelbert as much as for the celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In this, Hereford followed from a list of eastern extensions in England in the later twelfth and thirteenth centuries, particularly at Salisbury (from c. 1220) and Worcester (from 1224), all of which drew ultimately from the eastern extension at Canterbury for the cult of Thomas Becket (from 1174).11DOI
If no conclusive evidence survives for these earlier monuments, we do have visual evidence of what was likely the subsequent screen in Joseph Carless’s 1833 watercolour drawing of the nave (fig. 2).12 Like its predecessor(s) the construction of this choir screen was tied to the liturgical changes of the building. The later thirteenth-century history of Hereford was dominated by the cult of Thomas Cantilupe (d. 1282) whose stunning shrine still stands in the north transept (fig. 3), and much of its architectural and religious history is necessarily oriented around it.13 Enthusiasm for Cantilupe’s cult inspired (and afforded) an updating of the cathedral in order to articulate a pilgrimage route for devotees to Cantilupe’s shrine (the north aisle was built first leading from the north porch as the public route to the shrine). New vaults and large windows were inserted in the aisles of the nave and subsequently the choir between about 1290 and 1310.14 But the choir aisles suggested a further rethinking of the venerability of the episcopal see in its extraordinary series of retrospective funerary effigies of the bishops of Hereford set in Gothic niches (five on either side of the choir), forming a kind of episcopal pantheon from 1079 terminating in Cantilupe himself.15 It has not been noted that this scheme reflects an earlier tradition of retrospective episcopal memorials from the Romanesque church mentioned by William of Malmesbury.16
While these works provided substantial opportunity for the remaking of a screen in light of renovations to the adjacent fabric, current opinion suggests that the screen represented in Carless’s view was built in the subsequent phase of construction in the second quarter of the fourteenth century.17 In this campaign, new towers were built over the crossing and the west façade, which provided visual markers for travelling pilgrims and endowed the church with the appearance of a celestial city. Already failing, the crossing and crossing tower were likely to have been the concern of the canons of Hereford who appealed to Pope John XXII in 1319 and demanded shoring up the crossing.18 Although Cantilupe was canonized in 1320, the choir itself was not remodelled for some years, possibly beginning in the episcopate of Bishop Charlton (1327–44) and completed during the episcopate of Bishop Trillek (1344–60), who would be buried in the centre of the new choir. It is Trillek to whom most of the wooden episcopal throne, choir stalls, and adjacent stone choir screen are attributed, albeit on stylistic rather than documentary grounds (fig. 4). The fourteenth-century choir ensemble, characterized by its elaborate micro-architectural canopies—a fluid translation of stone-built ornament to wood carving—has been carefully explored by Charles Tracy.19 In its fourteenth-century arrangement, the choir filled the central crossing and the first three bays of the eastern arm (fig. 5). The choir screen or pulpitum ran between the centre of the western crossing piers and the abutting forty-eight choir stalls extended to the easternmost extent of the eastern crossing piers. Breaking with the synthronon arrangement of the early church, the bishop’s throne was not set centrally ahead of flanking choir stalls, but was set against the flat pier on the south side of the presbytery to allow for an unhindered view of the high altar from the west (fig. 6). The high altar established the eastern termination of the choir space and the piers were subsequently filled with episcopal tombs to create a liturgical cordon sanitaire, with the notable exception of the arcading in the first bay east of the crossing which allowed for the ostia chori.
Unfortunately, we know much less about the choir screen illustrated by Carless than we would like. It was removed in 1841 by Cottingham when he was doing further remedial work on the crossing. The choir stalls were removed for some twenty years to the crypt, and the organ (which sat atop the screen) was temporarily located in the south transept. Dean John Merewether, an active antiquarian and author of A Statement on the Condition and Circumstances of the Cathedral Church of Hereford in the Year 1841, wanted to make a new screen of “Norman character”, surely in the style of the cathedral, and to remove later Georgian panelling in the choir in an early effort to return it to its medieval character.20 George Gilbert Scott was puzzled by Merewether’s intentions and suggested that Cottingham’s work had been “founded upon utility rather than history”, an ironic statement given that his own screen would itself bear few obvious historical parallels in English medieval art.21 Writing subsequently of Cottingham’s removal of the screen, Scott reasoned that his predecessor was not dealing with a medieval screen in the first place, and that if he was “he left no relics of it”, even if the 1842 survey of the fabric notes “a piece of unrepaired wall extending from the twin attached columns of the NW tower pier”.22 Although Scott was surely mistaken in his observations, it is nevertheless early drawings such as Carless’s that provide us with the best visual evidence for the screen.DOI
Carless’s drawing shows an austere monument with a two-centred, central door under a label, and two flanking Gothic apertures, which may have been filled with reredos for east-facing chapels.23 As Morris points out, the function of the rood screen and pulpitum were combined in the fourteenth century. Aside from the conventional functions of the pulpitum for the liturgy (that is, the singing of the lessons at Matins, for the lessons at Mass, and other aspects of the yearly liturgy), the altar of the “Much cross” was set in front of the screen, and the altar of the Holy Cross was located in the rood loft itself. By 1394 the parish altar of St John the Baptist was also located in the pulpitum to the south of the choir entrance.24 Multi-functional though it was, in style the screen stands to one side of the wave of magnificent choir screens constructed in Wales and the West Country at Exeter (1317–25) (fig. 7), Tintern (c. 1330), and St David’s (c. 1340), each employing aspects of the new vocabulary of Decorated architecture.25 If Carless’s drawing is to be trusted, the screen would seem to have features of a late thirteenth-century date: the clustered triplets of shafts, complex mouldings, and compressed heads of the arches are far closer to the architecture of the thirteenth-century north transept, or more still to the remodelled aisles and the niches for the retrospective episcopal effigies dating from around 1300. Also, the choir screen bears none of the richly wrought micro-architecture of the episcopal throne or the choir stalls, with which, it has been argued, they are coeval. In Morris’s account he draws attention to the ballflower ornament of the central tower as a diagnostic feature to date it in the 1320s, but again, ballflower ornament appears to be altogether absent from the choir screen. Put simply, the features of the screen fit far more comfortably with the late thirteenth century and work at Hereford dating from around 1300, and stand rather uncomfortably aside the elaborations of the mid-fourteenth-century choir. If we can date the Hereford Screen to around 1300, it would be the earliest in the sequence of screens noted above. Outside of the remodelling of the aisles discussed above, there were various occasions between around 1290 and 1320 when a new choir screen could have been built. If Bishop Charleton had begun the campaign to update the choir, for example, as Tracy intimated, it would accord well with his movements to reform its liturgical functions, including the expansion of vicars and enhancing the musical service.26 In the absence of more solid physical or antiquarian evidence, the date of this particular Hereford Screen cannot be resolved. Minor alterations are noted to the doors of the screen in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, although they are unlikely to have had an effect on the stonework.27 Remarkably, the new Scott and Skidmore screen is barely mentioned in the Chapter’s specifications for Scott’s work, except in the Cathedral Statement of Appeal in which the Dean and Chapter requested the reinstating of a division between the nave and choir, without “severing it from the remainder of the Church by a solid Screen of Stone”, thus suggesting, perhaps, that the apparent deficiencies of the former screen were remembered.28
Comparative Morphologies: Hereford, Salisbury, LichfieldDOI
Scott and Skidmore’s Hereford Screen demands to be understood within a still broader context. As is well known, it forms one of three or more “triumphant” screens that these men created in the same period for English cathedrals, including Salisbury (1870) and Lichfield (1859–63) (figs. 8 and 9). As at Hereford, these screens were intended to victoriously conclude the lengthy, and, for many, deleterious histories of England’s greatest choir spaces from the English Reformation to the present day by reinstating the magnificent screens that were destroyed in the intervening years. Looking comparatively at these post-medieval histories shows not only that they were each punctuated by the screens of Skidmore and Scott, but, like Hereford, they were subject to no less complex and extensive campaigns of renovation during the previous century. Hereford, Salisbury, and Lichfield had each been substantially reordered by the controversial architect James Wyatt (1746–1813) between 1787 and 1797, whose work as a “restorer” of great churches was vigorously critiqued by preservationists and antiquarians including Richard Gough (1735–1809), Director of the Society of Antiquaries, John Carter (1748–1817), and subsequently George Gilbert Scott and A. W. N. Pugin, among others. Wyatt’s work has rightly been understood to pivot between two phases of the Gothic Revival, and to have been a significant impetus toward the institutionalization of the protection, study, and conservation of medieval art.29 Discussion of the comparative morphology of these spaces illuminates personal, liturgical, and spatial commonalities, and illustrates the fact that Scott and Skidmore’s work was framed as a “correction” to these Georgian interventions, a perspective that is writ large in the critical reception of these spaces during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.30
Wyatt’s work at Hereford was, perhaps, the least invasive of the three campaigns insofar as its renovation of the choir space was concerned, and the least controversial. But significantly, it it came last in a series of deeply contested projects that were responded to by Scott, both in his writing and his commissions. James Wyatt made an initial report on the state of Lichfield on 7 March 1787, which centred initially upon the choir (structural flaws were discovered during his work and his attention was turned toward the nave and transepts) and he exhibited his proposals at the Royal Academy the same year. At Lichfield, as at Hereford, Wyatt's work was assisted by Joseph Potter (c. 1756–1842).31 Wyatt proposed a series of changes that would improve the comfort of the choir and diminish draughts, and open its eastern end by removing the Perpendicular high altar reredos, thereby joining the choir and the eastern Lady Chapel in a continuous vista.32 Removing the spatial divisions of the Gothic church, Wyatt’s approach was fundamentally informed by the aesthetics of Neo-classicism: in spatial conception if not in form, he aimed to clarify and homogenize the liturgical spaces of the great church according to his own dominantly Neo-classical tastes. Typical of Wyatt’s restorations, he re-employed fragments of the high altar reredos under the east window and on the west face of the late-medieval choir screen (which was removed in the nineteenth century by Sydney Smirke shortly before Scott started work).33 Despite this, Scott was one of many who condemned Wyatt’s work in the choir, opining judiciously, “The choir had been dealt with by Mr Wyatt in the most extraordinary manner possible.”34DOI
Wyatt’s opening of the choir at Lichfield—whether it was his own design or one suggested by his patrons—would be continued elsewhere in his work, and particularly at Salisbury. His “improvements” (rather than “alterations” or “restorations”) were executed under the careful tutelage of Bishop Shute Barrington (1782–91). Between 1789 and 1793 Wyatt removed much of the screening in the cathedral that compartmentalized its spaces, including the original 1236 choir screen (fig. 10)—complete with its host of bustling liturgical angels—which was reset in the west wall of the northeast transept in 1789. Understanding that a stone screen was required to buttress the crossing piers, he inserted a new screen in its position, which, like that at Lichfield, was faced with medieval spolia, as were the walls of the Trinity Chapel (in this case derived from the Beauchamp and Hungerford chantry chapels pulled down by Wyatt).35 Also like Lichfield, the campaign at Salisbury involved removing the high altar screen (and parts of the eastern bay of the choir enclosure) to create an uninterrupted view from the choir into the Trinity Chapel. Wyatt’s image of an open, purified cathedral interior was manifest particularly in his whitewashing of the original thirteenth-century scheme of vault paintings that adorned the entirety of the cathedral choir and eastern transept vaults, an action that drew extraordinary ire from the Society of Antiquaries who sent their draughtsman, Jacob Schnebbelie, to hastily record the paintings in October 1789.36 The concerned response from the public, which blazed across the pages of the Gentleman’s Magazine and other publications, assured these works a pivotal place in English art and antiquarianism. John Milner was perhaps the most restrained commentator on Wyatt’s Salisbury work, noting that “ever since 1789 . . . a difference of opinion, and more or less a controversy has subsisted concerning the taste and propriety of them.”37 Wyatt’s Salisbury works drew great criticism from Scott, who considered it his mission to systematically undo them, from reinstating (however inaccurately) the vault paintings (he commissioned the work of Clayton and Bell), to pulling down Wyatt’s choir screen, and of course replacing it with his design of 1870.
This brings us back to Hereford. Wyatt appeared there in 1788 when he surveyed the fabric following the collapse of the west tower in 1786, which had destroyed much of the nave. Wyatt’s major work at Hereford was to rebuild the nave in what was, from a contemporary perspective at least, a remarkably accurate reconstruction of the Romanesque fabric, albeit executed in plaster rather than stone. Wyatt also rebuilt the west front, which was, according to Richard Gough and John Carter, “poor, meaningless, insipid and shallow”.38 His Hereford work was not directed toward the choir space, and as we have seen, he did not take down the choir screen. He did, however, propose a scheme analogous to Salisbury and Lichfield in which he lengthened the choir by removing the altarpiece and placing an arch under the choir window, but this was not executed.39 Scott’s intention in his great church projects was to “restore the building to the state in which it had existed in better times of ecclesiastical architecture, and reverse, wherever possible, previous ‘improvements.’”40 Scott’s critique was a conventional and hardly subtle allusion to Wyatt’s work. Considered “The Destroyer” for his liberal interventions to great churches in order to “purify” Gothic interiors according to dominantly Neo-classical tastes, Wyatt’s work was positioned on one side of a rich debate over the present and future state of England’s patrimony of great churches. Part of the rhetoric of Scott and Skidmore’s screens was to amputate what they understood to be debased Georgian interventions that contaminated the church interior, and to return the cathedral to a perceived pre-Reformation form and aesthetic. Indeed, antiquarians and preservationists such as Richard Gough lamented “the scalping knife of modern taste” and opined that “Improvement like Reformation, is a big sounding word and oftentimes alike mischievous in its consequence”.41 Typical of a nostalgic tradition of medievalist thought that began in the years after the Reformation itself, medievalists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries could readily elide current alterations or depletions of the fabric of great churches with the much-maligned political, religious, and aesthetic regimes of the English Reformation.42 Many of the medievalist and antiquarian critics of Wyatt’s and others’ works were themselves either Catholic (such as John Milner, or latterly, A. W. N. Pugin) or Catholic sympathists, for whom the Dissolution of the monasteries was a profound aesthetic and cultural fissure in the fabric of English history.43 Unsurprisingly, a proponent of Wyatt’s work could call his detractors in the Society of Antiquaries “a Papish Cabal”.44 Understood in these terms, Scott and Skidmore’s works suggest not only an erasure of a recent generation’s work, but also a temporal leap, a bending of time to return the cathedral to its pre-Reformation state. Yet the stylistic and material incongruity of their projects with the medieval structures in which they are located also suggests a thoroughly modern, and even triumphant medievalism, in which modern Gothic paradoxically signals the art of the Gothic past, while also self-consciously surpassing it.
My greatest thanks are to Ayla Lepine and Sarah Victoria Turner for engineering the Hereford Screen project. I am also grateful to Julian Luxford, Malcolm Thurlby, Jonathan Foyle, Charles Tracy, David Whitehead, and John Maddison, and to the staff of Lichfield and Hereford Cathedrals for unfettered access to the buildings and their archives.
About the author
Matthew M. Reeve is Associate Professor and Queen's National Scholar at Queen's University and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. He has published widely on medieval art and its modern replications and is now completing a book on architecture and sexuality in the circle of Horace Walpole.
Anon., “The Hereford Screen in the International Exhibition”, London Illustrated News, 30 August 1862, 246.1
Architecture (June 1897), 269 (V&A Metalwork Department, uncatalogued). These and other responses are recorded in Ingrid Brown, “The Hereford Screen”, Ecclesiology Today 47/48 (2013): 3–44, references at notes 1 and 2.2
I borrow “reverse archaeology” from Arnold Klukas, “Durham Cathedral in the Gothic Era: Liturgy, Design, Ornament”, in Artistic Integration in Gothic Buildings, ed. Virginia Chieffo Raguin, Kathryn Brush, and Peter Draper (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1995), 69–83, although I use it in my own way.3
Alexander Nagel and Christopher Wood, Anachronic Renaissance (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2010); Nicola Camerlenghi, “The Longue Durée and the Life of Buildings”, in New Approaches to Medieval Architecture, ed. R. Bork, William W. Clark, and Abby McGehee (Aldershot: Routledge, 2011), 11–20.4
Alexander Nagel, Medieval Modern: Art Out of Time (London: Thames and Hudson, 2012).5
See, for example, William St. John Hope, “Quire Screens in English Churches, with special reference to the Twelfth Century Quire Screen formerly in the Cathedral Church of Ely”, Archaeologia 68 (Jan. 1917): 43–110; Jeffrey West, “The Romanesque Screen at Canterbury Reconsidered”, in Medieval Art, Architecture and Archaeology at Canterbury, ed. Alixe Bovey, British Archaeological Association Conference Transactions 35 (Leeds, 2015), 167–79; Charles Tracy and others, “The Adisham ‘Reredos’: What is it?”, Journal of the British Archaeological Association 156 (2003): 27–78.6
For example, Thomas of Elmham’s “groundplan” of the choir of St Augustine’s, Canterbury which shows its high altar screen with two doors (ostia), or the extraordinary miniatures of screens in Oxford Bodleian MS Douce 131 f. 126r. Henry of Avranches, The Metrical Life of St Hugh of Lincoln, ed. and trans. C. Garton (Lincoln: Honywood Press, 1986), 60–61.7
The most recent monograph on great church screens focuses on continental material. See Jacqueline Jung, The Gothic Screen: Space, Sculpture and Community in the Cathedrals of France and Germany (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).8
Malcolm Thurlby, The Herefordshire School of Romanesque Sculpture (with a History of the Anarchy in Herefordshire by Bruce Coplestone-Crow) (Almeley: Logaston Press, 2013), 261–62.9
Thurlby, Herefordshire School of Romanesque.10
Peter Draper, The Formation of English Gothic: Architecture and Identity (New Haven, CT, and London: Yale University Press, 2006).11
Aymer Vallance, Greater English Church Screens (London: Batsford, 1947), 69–71.12
Meryl Jancey, ed., St Thomas Cantilupe Bishop of Hereford: Essays in His Honour (Hereford: Friends of Hereford Cathedral, 1982); Ben Nilson, Cathedral Shrines of Medieval England (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 1998), esp. 160–61; Nicola Coldstream, “The Medieval Tombs and Shrine of Saint Thomas Cantilupe”, in Hereford Cathedral: A History, ed. Gerald Aylmer and John Tiller (London: Hambledon Press, 2000), 322–30.13
Richard K. Morris, “The Remodelling of the Hereford Aisles”, Journal of the British Archaeological Association 37 (1974): 21–39.14
Phillip G. Lindley, “Retrospective Effigies, the Past, and Lies”, in Medieval Art, Architecture and Archaeology at Hereford, ed. D. Whitehead (British Archaeological Association Conference Transactions 15) (Leeds, 1995), 111–21.15
William of Malmesbury, The Deeds of the Bishops of England (Gesta Pontificum Anglorum), trans. David Preest (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2002), 202.16
Richard Morris, “The Architectural History of the Medieval Cathedral Church”, in Hereford Cathedral, ed. Aylmer and Tiller, 203–40; Charles Tracy, Britain’s Medieval Episcopal Thrones: History, Archaeology and Conservation (Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2015), 73–88.17
Morris, “Architectural History”, 221–22.18
Tracy, Britain’s Medieval Episcopal Thrones.19
See in general, David Whitehead, “The Mid-Nineteenth-Century Restoration of Hereford Cathedral by Lewis Nockalls Cottingham, 1842–1850”, in Medieval Art, Architecture and Archaeology at Hereford, ed. Whitehead (British Archaeological Association Conference Transactions 15) (Oxford, 1995), 176–86; David Whitehead, “The Architectural History of the Cathedral Since the Reformation”, in Hereford Cathedral, ed. Aylmer and Tiller, 241–86, at 266; and Janet Myles, “L. N. Cottingham, 1787–1847, Architect: His Place in the Gothic Revival”, PhD thesis, Leicester Polytechnic, 1989, 204–16.20
George Gilbert Scott, Personal and Professional Recollections (1879), ed. Gavin Stamp (Stamford: Paul Watkins, 1995), 273, 275.21
Scott, Personal and Professional Recollections, 291. George Marshall, Hereford Cathedral: Its Evolution and Growth (Worcester: Littlebury, 1951), 125–26, quotes Willis’s survey (1842) referring to “a piece of unrepaired wall extending from the twin attached columns of the NW tower pier”.22
Vallance, Greater English Church Screens, 70.23
Morris “Architectural History”, 224–25. See the plan of the late medieval altars and furnishings in Robert Swanson and David Lepine, “The Later Middle Ages, 1268–1535”, in Hereford Cathedral, ed. Aylmer and Tiller, 48–86, fig. 25.24
Stuart Harrison, Richard K. Morris, and David. M. Robinson, “A Fourteenth-Century Pulpitum Screen at Tintern Abbey, Monmouthshire”, Antiquaries Journal 78 (1998): 177–268. See also, David M. Robinson and Richard Lea, Malmesbury Abbey: History, Archaeology, and Architecture to Illustrate the Significance of the South Aisle Screen, English Heritage Reports and Papers 61 (2002).25
See John Harper, “Music and Liturgy, 1300–1600”, in Hereford Cathedral, ed. Aylmer and Tiller, 384.26
Garbett notes that the wooden doors of the central doorway were altered or removed “to obtain a view of nave and choir”. Thomas Garbett, A Brief Enquiry into the Ancient and Present State of Hereford Cathedral (London: J. Taylor, 1827), 41. This was done in 1726 by Thomas Willm, carpenter, in conjunction with repaving the floors. See Whitehead, “Architectural History”, 250.27
Brown, “The Hereford Screen”, 10.28
The literature on these issues is extensive. See John Frew, “Richard Gough, James Wyatt, and Late 18th-Century Preservation”, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 38, no. 4 (1979): 366–74; John Frew, “The ‘Destroyer’ Vindicated? James Wyatt and the Restoration of Henry VII's Chapel, Westminster Abbey”, Journal of the British Archaeological Association 134 (1981): 100–6; and John Martin Robinson, James Wyatt: Architect to George III (New Haven, CT, and London: Yale University Press, 2013).29
Wyatt was not the only significant Georgian architect who made alterations to great church screens. William Kent’s new “Gothick” screen at Gloucester of 1741 was removed by 1820, and his 1744 screen in Westminster Hall was down by 1825. See Roger White, “Kent and the Gothic Revival”, in William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain, ed. Susan Weber (New Haven, CT, and London: Yale University Press, 2014), 247–70, at 260–61, 263–64. A broader account of the screens of great churches in England in the post-medieval period is now much in need.30
Richard Lockett, “Joseph Potter: Cathedral Architect at Lichfield Cathedral, 1794–1842”, Transactions of the South Staffordshire Archaeological and Historical Society 21 (1979–80): 34–47.31
The fragments from the reredos have recently been rediscovered and will be the subject of a forthcoming paper by the author.32
For fuller accounts of Wyatt and Potter’s work at Lichfield, see John Frew, “Cathedral Improvement: James Wyatt at Lichfield Cathedral, 1787–92”, Transactions of the Staffordshire Archaeological and Historical Society 19 (1977–78), 33–43; Richard Lockett, “The Restoration of Lichfield Cathedral: James Wyatt to John Oldrid Scott”, in Medieval Archaeology and Architecture at Lichfield, ed. John Maddison (British Archaeological Association Conference Transactions 13) (Leeds, 1993), 115–39.33
Scott, Personal and Professional Recollections, 292.34
John Frew, “James Wyatt’s Choir Screen at Salisbury Cathedral Reconsidered”, Architectural History 27 (1984): 481–87.35
Matthew M. Reeve, Thirteenth-Century Wall Painting of Salisbury Cathedral: Art, Liturgy, and Reform (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2008).36
John Milner, A Dissertation on the Modern Style of Altering Ancient Cathedrals as Exemplified at the Cathedral of Salisbury (Winchester, 1798).37
Whitehead, “Architectural History”, 262.38
Whitehead, “Architectural History”, 261–62.39
Scott, Personal and Private Recollections, 291–98.40
Cited and discussed in Robinson, James Wyatt, 227.41
Matthew M. Reeve, “Gothic Architecture, Sexuality and License at Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill”, The Art Bulletin 95, no 3 (2013): 411–39, at 415–17; Rosemary Hill, “Reformation to Millennium: Pugin’s Contrasts in the History of English Thought”, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 58, no. 1 (1999): 26–41.42
Rosemary Hill, “‘The ivi’d ruins of forlorn Grace Dieu’: Catholics, Romantics, and Late Georgian Gothic”, in Gothic Architecture and its Meanings, 1550–1830, ed. Michael Hall (Reading: Spire Books, 2002), 159–84.43
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- Matthew Reeve
- 10 April 2017
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- Matthew Reeve, "The Hereford Screen: A Prehistory", British Art Studies, Issue 5, https://doi.org/10.17658/issn.2058-5462/issue-05/mreeve