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.

Saturday, 23 October 2021

A new porch for Angers Cathedral

Dezeen has a post about the proposal to erect a western porch to protect the polychrome decoration that has been revealed in recent years of the twelfth century west door of the cathedral at Angers. A medieval, thirteenth century, porch which had been added, was, regrettably demolished in 1807. Unfortunately there appears to be insufficient evidence to reconstruct that, so it has been decided to opt for a new design. This aims to complement the historic fabric of the cathedral.

This is featured in the article together with impressions of what it will look like. I am not sure what I think about the project myself. The comments are not very favourable but, unlike so many on internet sites, do actually carry the conversation forward about the design, and one actuaally gives a link to a 1699 drawing of the previous porch. 

I visited Angers in 1993 and it is a building very much in the regional style of the twelfth century, and very different from the ‘classic’ French cathedrals of the Idle de France and its more immediate neighbours. Angers cathedral is a link to the age of King Henry II and his family. It also holds the remains of Queen Margaret of Anjou who died there in 1482. To stand by her grave slab having visited places associated with her in England was definitely moving. I would certainly recommend Angers, with the cathedral, the thirteenth century castle, and its wondrous display of the late fourteenth century cycle of Apocalypse tapestries as things to see in an attractive and historic small city.

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