Art, Faith and Place in East Anglia

Art, Faith and Place in East Anglia

From Prehistory to the Present

Edited by T.A. Heslop, Elizabeth Mellings, Margit Thofner


Boydell Press



An investigation into the manifestations of religious art in East Anglia and how they are connected to and inspired by their locations.
The relationship between religious or spiritual artworks and the locality where such objects are made and used is the central question this volume addresses. While it is a well-known fact that religious artworks, objects and buildings can have a power or agency of their own (iconoclasm, the violent defacement of an object which paradoxically testifies to the fear and loathing it has generated, being an extreme example), the sources of this power are less well understood. It is this problem which the book seeks to begin to remedy, using East Anglia, an area of Britain with an exceptionally long history of religious diversity, as its prism. Case-studies are taken from prehistory right up to the twenty-first century, and from a variety of media, including wall-paintings, church architecture, and stained glass; famous sites examined include Seahenge and Sutton Hoo. Overall, the book shows how profoundly religious artworks are embedded in local communities, belief systems, histories and landscapes.

T.A. Heslop is Professor of Visual Arts, Elizabeth Mellings a Post-doctoral Research Fellow, and Margit Thofner Senior Lecturer, at the School of World Art Studies, University of East Anglia.

Contributors: Margit Thofner, T.A. Heslop, Elizabeth de Bièvre, Daphne Nash Briggs, Adrian Marsden, Timothy Pestell, Matthew Champion, Carole Hill, Elizabeth Rutledge, David King, John Peake, Nicola Whyte, Chris King, Francesca Vanke, Stefan Muthesius, Kate Hesketh-Harvey, Karl Bell, Elizabeth Mellings, Robert Wallis, Trevor Ashwin. Cover artwork: Glowing Embers (Seahenge), 2000. Painting by Susan Laughlin.


December 2012
17 colour, 93 black and white, 16 line illustrations
384 pages
24.4x17.2 cm
ISBN: 9781843837442
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press
BISAC ART015000, ART015070, REL072000
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Table of Contents

Introduction: On Faith, Objects and Locality - T A Heslop and Margit Thofner
But Where is Norfolk? - Elisabeth de Bièvre
Sacred Image and Regional Identity in late-Prehistoric Norfolk - Daphne Nash Briggs
Piety from the Ploughsoil: Religion in Roman Norfolk Through Recent Metal-Detector Finds - Adrian Marsden
Paganism in Early-Anglo-Saxon East Anglia - Timothy Pestell
Devotion, Pestilence and Conflict: The Medieval Wall Paintings of St Mary the Virgin, Lakenheath - Matthew Champion
Here be Dragons: The Cult of St Margaret of Antioch and Strategies for Survival - Carole Hill
The Medieval Jews of Norwich and their Legacy - Elizabeth Rutledge
Late-Medieval Glass-Painting in Norfolk: Developments in Iconography and Craft c.1250-1540 - David King
Graffiti and Devotion in Three Maritime Churches - John Peake
Norfolk Waywide Crosses: Biographies of Landscape and Place - Nicola Whyte
Landscapes of Faith and Politics in Early-Modern Norwich - Chris King
Practice and Belief: Manifestations of Witchcraft, Magic and Paganism in East Anglia from the Seventeenth Century to the Present Day - Francesca Vanke
Provinciality and the Victorians: Church Design in Nineteenth-Century East Anglia - Stefan Muthesius
Maharajah Duleep Singh, Elveden and Sikh Pilgrimage - Kate Hesketh-Harvey
Supernatural Folklore and the Popular Imagination: Re-reading Object and Locality in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Norfolk - Karl Bell
Pro Patria Mori: Christian Rallies and War Memorials of early-Twentieth-Century Norfolk - Elizabeth A. Mellings
Pagans in Place, from Stonehenge to Seahenge: "Sacred Archaeological Monuments and Artefacts in Britain - Robert J. Wallis
Art, Spirit and Ancient Places in Norfolk - Trevor Ashwin
Sacred Sites and Blessed Objects: Art and Religion in Contemporary Norfolk - Elizabeth A. Mellings
Appendix: A Brief Note on the Maps (with map webpage link) - Trevor Ashwin
Interactive maps and pie-charts


An impressive and wide-ranging collection. ... The editors and contributors are to be congratulated on producing a thought-provoking and visually very pleasing book. LANDSCAPE HISTORY