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St. Christopher, Thorpe Mandeville, Northants (Peterborough) C.14/15

Photo:T.Marshall St. Christopher, Thorpe Mandeville, Northants (273KB)

Apart from a few fragments of pigment - probably where Christopher’s feet once were - lower down on the north wall below the blocked north door visible at the lower edge of the photograph, this is all that remains of the painting. There is enough, though, to suggest that this is the work of an accomplished painter. At the top of the visible painted area are two narrow speech scrolls, no doubt representing the conversation between Christopher and the Christ Child. These are illegible now, but probably once bore the same inscriptions as the example at Horley in Oxfordshire. Other similarities - Christopher’s forked beard and the Child’s position on his shoulder - make me wonder if both could have been the work of the same painter, but this cannot be more than speculation now.

At Horley, though, Christopher’s staff, not yet flowering, I think (the stylized blooms on his other side are probably trees on the riverbank towards which the saint is wading) is held in his right hand, although little is left of it now. The Child, who is probably riding piggy-back style, as at Ashby St. Ledgers, holds up his right hand in a gesture of blessing, and carries the orb of the world in his left. His ‘walrus’ moustache (an unusual feature) is impressive, which suggests to me that this is a fifteenth, not a fourteenth, century painting.

Thorpe Mandeville is an interesting church whose parish registers date from 1559. These are now kept at Northampton Records Office, however.

Website for St. John the Baptist church, Thorpe Mandeville

More paintings of St. Christopher. Follow the links below for individual picture and text pages - in page heading = Diocese
Ashby St Ledgers, Northants Belton, Suffolk Burnham Overy, Norfolk Cottered, Hertfordshire East Wellow, Hants
Edingthorpe Norfolk Fritton, Norfolk Haddiscoe, Norfolk Hemblington, Norfolk Horley, Oxfordshire
Impington, Cambridgeshire Irstead, Norfolk Layer Marney, Essex Littlebourne, Kent Martlesham, Suffolk
Molesworth, Northants Oaksey, Wilts Paston, Norfolk Pickering, N. Yorks Raunds, Northants
Shorwell, Isle of Wight Slapton, Northants Stoke Dry, Rutland Thorpe Mandeville, Northants NEW Thurlton, Norfolk
Thurton, Norfolk NEW Wickhampton, Norfolk Willingham, Cambridgeshire Woodeaton, Oxon

February 24, 2011

2011 Anne Marshall

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