Posted by: Richenda at Friday May 7, 2010 in


What about Saint John Wharton the anchorite attached to St Oswald’s Durham? The takings at his shrine are well documented and the accounts preserved in Durham County Record Office. There was a medieval Life of this man but it cannot now be traced. A ‘plat’ which he cultivated overlooking the River Wear is known from documentary evidence; and the name survives in property near St Oswald’s church. Any help in tracing more information about this would be greatly appreciated.

Margot Johnson

Hi Margot!
I apologize for being absolutely no help. But I do know that archival research is constantly underway. I suggest calling the closest Library or historical society, they are often so very helpful. You can also try local church records. Remember, too, in searching that spellings will be all which ways, so don’t give up, keep digging. Good luck in your search!

Posted by: Richenda at Wednesday April 21, 2010 in


Love the website! I am currently researching my Masters thesis on Early Dominican identity and was seeking good illustrations for a talk I’m giving when I stumbled upon your page. I’m going to recommend your site to the laity (as it were) for quick references and further readings.


Hi Matt!
Glad you approve! The pictures are so handy, aren’t they, for presentations? I must admit I think they are worth the time to scan and post. The goal here is simplicity!

Posted by: Richenda at Friday March 19, 2010 in

Hi Richenda
Regarding Baptismal Fonts in the Medieval Church

Just came to your wonderful page on medieval fonts whilst researching my current novel – invaluable, thank you!

Just a thought on one of the inscriptions you quote:

“Wyht owt [doubte a]ll [sic] may be saved
Of yor charete pra for them yt yis font mayd.
Robert clevying pson.
Robert Appilton.
Ave maria gra plena dns tecu bndicta tu in mu.
lade help. Ihs.” (from page 181)

I wondered whether ‘pson’ might be ‘parson’ – thus Robert Clevying might be the parson who commissioned the font and Robert Appilton the mason. Though this is rather called into question by the fact that Clevying might be a wonderful name for a mason…

Alis H.

Hi Alis!
Ooo….love the idea here. And it is very possible as the term ‘Parson’ comes into use in the 13th century, plenty of time to be used on this Tudor font.

Posted by: Richenda at Monday March 8, 2010 in

Hi Richenda,

I want to create a hubpage about medieval book painting in Europe because I just love it.

So I’m searching for content, both text and images. During the last week I’ve searched like crazy to find some stuff. But I’m complete confused about public domain and if I’m allowed to use it. The hubpage I’m intending to publish is to show others the beauty of this paintings and to give additional informations. And it is also showing adverts.

Now I’m standing here helpless because I don’t want to hurt any laws.

As You may have noticed I’m a German and sometimes not sure that I get the right meaning of this “copyright thing”.

It would be wonderful to get some material. Maybe You could give me some advice where to find it.

Kindest greetings from Germany

Hi Ina!
I feel your pain. Copyright law has become unusably convoluted. I do my very best to make sure that everything on my site that is public domain is marked clearly, but even then because I am not a copyright law attorney, I can only offer my best guess assessment. I have two suggestions. First, you can do some research online with the US Library of Congress. They have a Prints and Photographs section from which a number of the Photochroms on this site have come. Those images have been labeled ‘no known restrictions on publication.’ You can see that even the Library of Congress stops short of declaring Public Domain because of the legal trickery! But, in my thinking, if they say ‘no restrictions’ I can pass that information along. The second source of images is Wikipedia Commons. The Wiki community has been wonderfully proactive in making old images available in the Public Domain where they belong.

Good luck!

Posted by: Richenda at Friday January 22, 2010 in

Regarding English Monastic Life

I offer an extremely large thanks for your generous transcription of Gasquet’s English Monastic Life. I’ve found scans of the book on various Internet library sites (such as Gutenburg) but the pictures and images accompanying the text do not come out well. I’m especially grateful for your abbey/prior floorplan graphics, which are absent from the extant scanned versions of the text.

Overall, your monastic site is full of useful information, especially for the medieval novice.

Thanks again for this great resource.


Hi Joe!
Great to hear the feedback! Gutenburg is great, but there are real limitations without the work of scanning and real transcription. The goal is accessibility and useability!

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