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.

Friday 3 May 2024

Marian Pilgrimage - Our Lady of the Red Ark in York Minster

The third station on the Pilgrimage is made at the second Metropolitical cathedral of the realm, York Minster. 

Looking at Waterton’s compilation it is not clear why the itinerary as created in 1960 chose the statue of Our Lady of the Red Ark in the Minster when in fact there were so many devotional images of Our Lady in the cathedral. Like Canterbury York Minster had a chapel on her honour in the Undercroft created to support the High Altar and Shrine of St William reusing fabric from the Norman cathedral. That was restored in the early twentieth century with a damaged twelfth century relief of the Virgin and Child discovered in 1829 during restoration work in the east wall of the principal Lady Chapel beneath the east window. To the right of the High Altar was an elaborate decorated statue of the Virgin. Both the  north and south choir aisles had their own statues of her, as well as one over the Treasury and the one by the Red Ark. 

My account of that particular statue, and links to two others, can be found at Marian Pilgrimage - Our Lady of the Red Ark in York Minster

At Beverley Minster there was a similar arrangement with a statue of the Virgin by their donation Ark which was also painted red. That should no doubt be added to the itinerary.

May Our Lady of the Red Ark in York Minster pray for The King and all the Royal Family and for us all

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