Misericords

A ledge provided by a hinged seat in choir stalls for clerics to lean on during services. Translates from the French meaning of ‘mercy seat’. Ripon has 32 of them which were created at the end of the 15th century. I particularly like the bagpipe playing pig, Jonah emerging from a very sharp toothed whale, the lady (I think) in a wheel barrow and the mermaid.

7 thoughts on “Misericords

  1. Amazing to think that these images ‘spoke’ to people. I only could interpret the pelican as an image of selfless sacrifice. The others? Thank you for sharing

    • The pelican was supposed to feed its chicks with its own blood – so yes sacrifice. The bagpiping pig is possibly a rude comment about the invading Scots who passed through Ripon a short time before the work was done – but I wouldn’t like to swear to it.

  2. I work in the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital in Dublin, is that a variation on this word? (I have not investigated ut, strangely..)

  3. Many times have I studied them at Ripon .The town that made rowels for spurs for Kings army . Nice part of Yorkshire I always thought .Harrogate Betties cafe for luncheon and on to York Shambles to see friends . What joy youth was my own open jaguar down twisting lanes .The open plain of Pickering .The Forests singing with birds .A world that was peaceful warm and safe .Then in came the millions of invading swarm and out went the old guard in its wake. The wood carved bum rests at Ripon have no meaning to the horde of eyes not English in our own nation. Sad am I that we have been taken over not in war but in peace time over run .One day not so far ahead us pure English 97% my DNA test said rest Rome. Will be a minority in our own land

  4. The word may have arrived with the Normans like a lot else did because here in Normandie La Misericorde is a very common name for old people’s homes!

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