Friday, October 09, 2009

Whalley Abbey and the Towneley Family: Mediaeval English Vestments

Awhile back on Daniel Mitsui's site, The Lion and the Cardinal, I came across some 15th century English vestments which originally belonged to Whalley Abbey, a Cistercian abbey in Whalley, Lancashire, England. At the time of the dissolution of the monasteries, these vestments then came to reside in the possession of the Towneley family, a recusant Catholic family in England.

Towneley Hall

The Chapel in Towneley Hall

The vestments have beautiful embroidered orphreys with scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary, and incorporate within their basic design red fruit -- which the Towneley Society identify as strawberries, but as one of our readers astutely observed, may also be pomegranates.

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: