Churches

Slide 3 (2)
Bishop Maidstone inside the church at Frampton on Severn

Bishop Maidstone made five journeys within his diocese during 1315, dedicating the churches and altars in more than forty parishes throughout Gloucestershire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire. For ease of identification, we are using their modern names throughout this website.

Many of the churches he visited have been greatly altered or rebuilt since that time, whilst some remain relatively untouched.  Dedication 1315 is about recognising the individual and collective heritage of these buildings and the communities they have served for more than 700 years.

Alison  Merry 2_jtP9_v1 (3)

The Hereford Mappa Mundi has been dated to around 1300 which means the ink might have been barely dry on the vellum as Bishop Maidstone set out on his visitation to our churches in 1315. It was apt, therefore, to represent his journey in this ‘Mappa Maidstone’ in similar style.

 We see the bishop riding his dappled pony to the seven churches he visited between 1st July and 10th July. To the east rises up the Cotswold edge where there are beech trees, the five valleys converging on Stroud and a Cotswold lion to represent the sheep that would have roamed the Cotswold Hills. Harescombe Church nestles below the Cotswold Edge while Badgeworth and Whaddon lie in the vale to the east of Gloucester. Then we see the four churches that sit on Severnside : Elmore, Hardwick, Fretherne and Frampton.

 Gloucester Cathedral is represented as also, to the west, are May Hill and the edge of the Forest of Dean. The River Severn flows through the scene, spilling over its banks in flood and its waters teeming with fish and elvers.

 In the lower left corner, Bishop Maidstone announces himself. In the lower right, the artist is represented in an attitude of obeisance to the scene, the bishop and his historic enterprise.