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Wall paintings from All Saints Church, Claverley, Shropshire

12th/13th century. c.1200

Photo by Mike Searle

A detail from the left of the wall-painting.         A detail from the right of the wall-painting.


Referenced on p21 Knight - Noble Warrior of England 1200-1600 by Christopher Gravett
A wall painting from All Saints Church, Claverley, Shropshire, probably executed around the turn of the 13th century and probably depicting the battle between vices and virtues. The knights, some in surcoats, wear flat-topped, round or conical helmets, with rather crudely painted face-masks.

Referenced on pp63-4, Arms and Armour of the Crusading Era, 1050-1350, Western Europe and the Crusader States by David Nicolle

139A-K Wall-paintings, Shropshire, late 12th/early 13th centuries
(in situ Church of All Saints, Claverly, England)

This series of warring figures has sometimes been identified as a Psychomachia but there is no evidence that particular figures represent Vices or Virtues. On the contrary, the two forces are almost identical except that conical helmets are only worn by the defeated troops approaching from the right (B, D, F, H and J). All helmets have face-mask visors (A, C, E, G, I, and K) but none are fully-developed great helms, as none cover the sides or back of the head. Two of these face-masks appear to be built on or around nasals (D and H), while two others have a central reinforcing bar (F and C). All the warriors have long-sleeved hauberks, some probably with mittens (A and D), others clearly without (E, I and J). A few surcoats are seen (C, E and I) but only in the victorious army. One appears to wrap around only one shoulder (G) but this may be a misleading impression due to the damaged state of the paintings. Mail chausses are clearly worn by some (A, C, E, and I), perhaps originally by all figures. Shields are of the newer small, flat-topped kite-shaped type (B-G and I-K) with one exception (H) which has a round top and an apparent boss. Such shields tend to push the paintings into the 13th century. Spears are used, as well as broad tapering swords with long straight, curved or down-turned quillons and round pommels. In only one case a large domed pommel is shown (D).

Other 12th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers