Blanche Parry

MOULDED or WORKED STONES – Most of these stones were found in the area of the nave and chapterhouse. Those discovered by Rowland Paul's excavations of 1892–1912 were described as retaining red, blue, yellow and green paint – part of the pulpitum was still gilded. An informed inventory was created of them in 2011.

PROCESSIONAL CROSS BASE – Medieval Church Services were proceeded by a procession to the chosen altar where the Cross was slotted into the base behind the altar. The base below the Corfield Window is a rare survival of a once common feature in Churches.

PISCINA – As a piscina, or basin, was used in washing the sacred vessels for the Mass, it was usually sited next to an altar.

CHAPELS – The 12th – 13th century rebuild provided the extra altars to celebrate Mass needed by those monks who were also priests. Two of the original four chapels were kept (now the Hoskyns Chapel and the vestry) but two became part of the ambulatory. New side chapels and five chapels at the east end were separated by painted parclose screens.

INSCRIBED STONES:

Written in early Norman Latin using Lombardic capital letters and originally painted, these three stones were probably statue bases. The names were the donors but as monks were often skilled craftsmen it is possible a donor was also the craftsman:

ROBERT:VICA/RI:DE WRMBRE/GGE 'ME' FECIT
(Robert Vicar of Wormbridge made me)

Robert, subprior in 1266, appeared with Abbot Henry in London in a dispute with the Knights Hospitallers.

+H/UGO OLIM D/ECCAN DE/WEBBELE'M/E FE
(Hugo formerly Dean of Weobley made me)

In 1267 the Dean collected the Abbey's tax for King Henry III. He may be the Hugo Bishop of Norton Canon whose carved coffin lid has survived in Weobley Church, Herefordshire.

ROBERT/WROETH/ME:FEC (Robert Wroth made me)

Robert Wroth, Abbot 1347–1362, came from a Longtown family who had close links with the Abbey: William Wroth had been Abbot 12741281 and Sir Robert Wroth may have contributed to building some of the Abbey in 1286. Also the Lollard Richard Wrothe, a London parminter (parchmentmaker), may have been from this family. He seems to have aided Sir John Oldcastle's escape from the Tower of London by passing messages. Sir John was recaptured and executed in 1417 (see Mistress Blanche, Queen Elizabeth I's Confidante by Ruth E. Richardson).

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