Archive for March 31st, 2011


G n’ R: Patience

March 31, 2011

Gabriel - the Lichfield Angel

Excavation within the Gothic nave of Lichfield Cathedral in 2003 revealed three phases of masonry building ante-dating the Norman period. These are likely to relate to the church of St Peter, which Bede described in 731 as housing the timber shrine to St Chad, fifth bishop of Mercia (d 672). A rectangular, timber-lined pit found on the central axis of the building might represent a crypt or burial chamber beneath the shrine. Buried in a small pit alongside this were three fragments of a bas-relief panel of Ancaster limestone, carved with the figure of an angel.

They comprise half of the left-hand end of a hollow, box-like structure that had a low-coped lid. This is interpreted as a shrine chest associated with the cult of St Chad. The sculpture, which was broken and buried in, or before, the tenth century, is in remarkably fresh condition, allowing for an in-depth analysis of its original painted embellishment and for an assessment of the monument in terms of its iconography and stylistic affinities, and thus the possible conditions of its production.

It is argued that the surviving portion of the panel represents the archangel Gabriel, and that it is one half of an Annunciation scene. ~ Source Cambridge Journals

Comparison Sabian Symbol with Kozminsky Symbol

Sabian: 14º Capricorn: An ancient bas-relief carved in granite .

 Kozminsky: 14º Capricorn: A woman in a drapery establishment, the table crowded with articles of dress, none of which please her.

"Lichfield Angel" David Austin Roses

Lichfield Angel (Ausrelate) 

The flowers of this rose commence as charming peachy pink cups, gradually opening to form neatly cupped rosettes. Each bloom has a perfect ring of creamy-apricot waxy petals enclosing numerous smaller petals. Eventually the petals turn back to form a large, domed, creamy-white flower. The overall effect in the mass in sunshine is almost pure white.

Lichfield Angel will form a vigorous, rounded shrub which, with its blooms nodding attractively on the branch, will make a fine sight. It is very useful in a border, as it harmonises well with all other colours and will act as an intermediary between pinks and yellows.

The fragrance is generally light but has strong elements of clove at one stage.

Lichfield Angel is a limestone sculptured panel, from the 8th century, which was recently discovered in Lichfield Cathedral. It depicts the Archangel Gabriel and still bears the remnants of Saxon paint.


The quality of Mercia is not stained

March 31, 2011

Stylised seahorse, Staffordshire Hoard, Mercian Trail

Image Credit: Staffordshire Hoard

The story so far

Mercia, 7th century: A time of deadly conflict

The proud kingdom of Mercia is expanding its power and lands. Its armies are fighting bloody wars with neighbouring kingdoms – Northumbria to the north, East Anglia to the east and Wessex to the south. Superbly armed warriors fight and die on blood splattered battlefields.

Their swords and battle finery are collected and stripped of their gold fittings. Gathered together with crosses and other fine objects, this precious treasure is mysteriously buried on a hill top. Centuries passed…

Staffordshire, 2009

A solitary man with a metal detector makes an astounding discovery in a farmer’s field just outside of Lichfield in Staffordshire – over 3,500 items of gold and silver with precious stone decorations. Now world famous, the Staffordshire Hoard is so much more than a collection of Anglo-Saxon war booty – it’s the legacy of craftsmen whose artistry fashioned precious metals and gemstones into incredibly detailed sword hilt fittings, helmet parts and other items. It’s also the story of kings, religious men and their warriors, who carried these pieces into battle, who fell, and were later stripped of their finery. [Read more]