TL8741 : St Gregory's church in Sudbury - archbishop Simon's skull

taken 10 years ago, near to Sudbury, Suffolk, Great Britain

St Gregory's church in Sudbury - archbishop Simon's skull
St Gregory's church in Sudbury - archbishop Simon's skull
St Gregory's church > Link as we see it today dates mainly from the 15th century but it was extensively restored in Victorian times and the stained glass windows > Link date from this time. The original rood screen panels > Link were overpainted in the 1900s. The choir stalls and carved misericords > Link in the chancel are medieval, as are the baptismal font and its tall cover > Link. This cover is described as being one of the best preserved in the county. The niches > Link in the lower stages once contained saints. The cover is suspended from an iron rod in the roof and was formerly made to open out so that the font could be used. The church has two other notable survivals, one being an original panel of the medieval rood screen that for some time had been kept at the local museum. It depicts Sir John Schorn, who according to legend conjured the devil into a boot > Link. The saint is represented only on three other rood screens, all of these in North Norfolk churches. An even older relic is kept locked away in the vestry. It is the mummified head of Simon of Sudbury who partially rebuilt the church in the 14th century and had a college of secular priests built on the adjoining site of his father's house. After studying civil law abroad he was made chaplain to Pope Innocent and Judge of the Roman Court. Back in England, the pope made him Chancellor of Salisbury. In 1361 he was consecrated Bishop of London and translated to the See of Canterbury in 1375. He was made Lord Chancellor of England under King Richard II and in this function Simon of Sudbury is considered to have been the principal author of the Poll Tax - and consequently extremely unpopular. When in 1381 the peasants revolted he took refuge in the Tower of London but the guards allowed the rebels through the gates. He was seized and dragged to Tower Hill, and subsequently beheaded. His body is buried in Canterbury Cathedral but his head, after having been on display on Tower Bridge for some time, was sent to his home town, where it has since been kept in a small glass-fronted cubicle in the vestry of St Gregory's, the church that he had helped to build. For detailed information read: LinkExternal link
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TL8741, 616 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Saturday, 2 October, 2010   (more nearby)
Sunday, 3 October, 2010
Church interior   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TL 870 415 [100m precision]
WGS84: 52:2.4423N 0:43.5365E
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TL 870 415
View Direction
WEST (about 270 degrees)
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