Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding.

I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop...
It was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.


Tuesday, 16 November 2010

The Westminster pavement


At the time of the Papal visit I posted about the image of the Pope standing on the wonderful thirteenth century cosmati sanctuary pavement of Westminster abbey. Now David Clayton, whom I knew when he was here in Oxford, has drawn attention on NLM to a post by another friend, Stratford Caldecott, and a post he has produced about the pavement. It includes a short documentary and can be found here.

The abbey's own site about the pavement can be read here, and there is another account here , and there is also a newspaper article about its restoration here.

http://www.westminster-abbey.org/__data/assets/thumbnail/0011/22106/912217-105.jpg

The Queen views the great pavement in Westminster Abbey

Image: Westminster Abbey

If you would like to read more about the pavement there is Richard Foster Patterns of Thought: (1991), and the pavement is also discussed in J.D.North The Ambassadors' Secret. Professor North's book is a fascinating exploration of the themes and symbolism in Holbein's painting, now in the National Gallery, of the French ambassadors to King Henry VIII in 1533, and it is a book well worth reading on its own account.

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