Mystery Lady

Who is she, this lady who presides over the south porch portal at All Saints church, Intwood?

Intwood Head

The Intwwod Head, All Saints church, Intwood: Photo 24 Sept 2018

The photo (#picoftheweek: Mystery) I took because … the light, the preservation, the lichen (there’s even a small cushion of moss on her head), and because she isn’t like the others I’ve seen on my travels around Norfolk. She wears neither gorget nor wimple, though close inspection does suggest a light fabric scarf wound round her neck. She wears a circlet over a fine fabric veil; it covers her hair, yet exposes her ears, and cascades down from her crown. There’s a faint suggestion of flowers attached to that circlet, metal flowers, possibly gold. A woman of substance, then.

The circlet together with lack of gorget or wimple dates her to the 1360s or soon after.

The lady’s head serves as the supporting corbel to an arch that frames the south porch door. That porch is reliably dated to 14th century. So now we have an end date for her too. 1400. But we’ll allow a few extra years: buildings aren’t always completed on time.

So, who was lord of Intwood manor between 1360 and 1400?

William of Buckenham, having acquired the manor shortly before 1349 (for a sum) ‘released it’ into the hands of Bartholomew Appleyard, citizen of Norwich, in 1356. It remained in the Appleyard family until the 1440s.

Can we now find a name for our mystery lady? This depends on whether she was wife to Bartholomew (died 1386), or to his son William (died 1419)?

Bartholomew’s wife was one Emma, probable daughter of Ralf Burwell or Bumpstead (both names are given), a fellow citizen of Norwich who alongside Bartholomew Appleyard served as bailiff. Their son married somewhat ‘higher’.

William Appleyard, MP, married Margaret, daughter of William Clere of Ormesby St Margaret. The Cleres had a sizable landholding in East Norfolk and were well connected.

Whose wife was she? I’d say William’s.

According to historyofparliamentonline.org:

[…] it was clearly the Appleyards’ wish to be accounted socially as one with the gentry of Norfolk …

And what better way for a wealthy merchant to raise his status than to grace the newly-built south tower of his manor’s church with the face of his ‘well-connected’ wife — decked in the latest fashions, of course.

By total coincidence, William Appleyard was made the first mayor of Norwich in 1404 and would have been involved in the design and erection of the Guildhall featured in last week’s #2018picoftheweek challenge, At the Heart of the City.

As to the husband’s head which would have co-graced that south porch: that has long since succumbed to the many waves of rural violence … political … religious … philosophical.

 

About crispina kemp

Spinner of Asaric and Mythic tales
This entry was posted in History, Photos and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Mystery Lady

  1. Dale says:

    I love this, Crispina… The picture, which I would have been tempted to brighten to see the left sid of her face, is perfect for this challenge… it does lend way more mystery.
    And the research you did? Wow… duly impressed, my dear…

    Liked by 1 person

    • crimsonprose says:

      I confess to increasing the contrast, thus deepening the shadow. As a result, the golden-hued flint to far left of photo, right of her head, becomes an echo of the golden hue to the left of her head (right photo), rather than to have that entire area as a muddle of grey flints that would have distracted from the lady’s grey stone head.
      As to the research … well, I swore off until I had the five books of Asaric Tales ready to publish but … I can’t stay away from it entirely.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dale says:

        With good reason! It works perfectly.
        LOL… I hear ya…

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        I thank you.
        There are days it’s hard to decide what I love best. With writing, I’m driven. With photography, it’s more … experimental, fun. With research, it’s an obsession, or addiction. Hard to stop, I have to dig deeper.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Dale says:

        I’m too lazy for that… research, that is. Photography is something I’ve always enjoyed but only started exploring more in the last few years… Writing also. I never considered myself a writer.

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        Ambition at 9 years old, to be published (as a fiction writer; I have to add that cos I have had poems and articles and stuff published). Ambition st 16, to live a Bohemian lifestyle (kind of achieved). First camera (a gift) aged 12. Humph, parents wouldn’t allow me to convert the loft to a dark room. Great delights with digi came out. Though it was an art only intermittently indulged. Living the Bohemian lifestyle, I didn’t often have the dosh to buy and develop film. Research, a more recent addiction, begain in my early 30s, with many, many books ordered from British Library cos my local didn’t have them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dale says:

        Wow. I STILL don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. And I’m 54 for crissakes… Got my first Kodak Instamatic at 10-11…
        Took one photo class during a night class, developing photos – so cool – at age 30, I guess… then came the digital camera and well…
        The writing was a journal thing for years, off and on, then the blogging world came to be and I thought, let’s see if I have anything to say that anyone wants to read?

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        My first story (The Green Lady), aged 9; I suppose you’d call it a short story, but at aged 9 it seemed long. Gothic, scary, spooked my friends. It underlies one of the threads to ‘Neve’, the first story I blogged, and one of the Asaric Series.
        By aged 14 I was called before our Head of English for a swift reprimand for subject matter of the three-exercise book novel that was circulating, and a rapped knuckle for using school property, and a remark that I had a career ahead of me as a witer. Unfortunately, I didn’t realise I had to actually learn that craft. During my later teens, and onwards, I expreimented with genre. I submitted, and papered my wall with reject slips. But, I have to say, many were handwritten, which I’ve seen learned is an encouraging sign.
        And all these years the journal has been kept; and periodically shredded and binned, especially those written duing my Jungian period. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • Dale says:

        Wow… a true writer in spirit… and actions.

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        And still driven. The Asaric Tales in my retirement project. I will achieve it. Especially now I’ve learned how to do it!

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        🙂 I thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Lynn Love says:

    What a wonderful photograph – I can see why she captured your attention. She’s very well preserved and finely carved too – pretty idiosyncratic for the time, do you think? I loved your research too, disappearing down that rabbit hole is just too hard to resist sometimes, don’t you think?
    Loved your writerly tales – especially being disciplined for disseminating that novel! I wrote obsessively as a child, always filled pages and pages of exercise books with dark tales of death and the supernatural. Then as a teen, I grew dissatisfied with the fact I wasn’t writing something of genius without putting much effort into the craft.
    Only as an adult have I realised this game is as much about work as any form of ‘gift’.
    I learned my lesson late but well

    Liked by 1 person

    • crimsonprose says:

      And I know you’ve done very well with the craft. Myself, in my teens I wasn’t worried that I wasn’t published. I had it in my head, this was an apprenticeship (which is why I experimented with, and of course I read and read and read). I set myself the target: to be published by aged 40. Groan, 40th birthday arrived, no published book. Ah, but I hadn’t been thoroughly specific, for I had been published … with everything but a novel. It was then that I really pulled out the stops. Yet it wasn’t until I had a virus wipe out my synaptic connections, like a computer virus destroying pathways, that I really set myself the task. After all, I had to relearn several aspects of language so … combine it.
      BTW, there’s another post due in 15 mins, photos and history, sparked by the same church.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Great photo for the mystery prompt! Reading your post was almost like reading a whodunit! I love how you narrowed it down.

    I really like the contrast on the face. Perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mary Parker says:

    In The History of Intwood & Keswick (which I just happen to be reading at the moment), the sculpted head on the porch is thought to be Philippa, Queen to Edward III. Great photo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • crimsonprose says:

      Ah-ha. I thank you for that. Are you local to the area, or tracing ancestors?

      Like

      • Mary Parker says:

        Intwood is one of the churches in the Swardeston Group, which includes Swardeston, East Carleton, Keswick & Ketteringham (my village). I am currently preparing a talk for their parish of various curiosities of Intwood and Keswick which have incidentally turned up during our research into Ketteringham’s history – which is why I was reading the book and looking online & saw your post. You are right about the Appleyards, it is thought that Bartholomew Appleyard built the Intwood porch. Philippa’s thought to have brought the Flemish weavers to the City. The man’s head is Bishop Bateman I believe.
        Regards, Mary

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        Hey, that’s really interesting. I knew of Edward III’s interest in Flemish weavers, and that it’s assumed to be due to his wife.
        I wonder if you’ve also looked at the post that follows this one, A Call of Arms, regard the coat of arms on a wrought iron enclosed grave in the same churchyard.
        And may I wish you well with your talk. It’s a great area for walks, plenty of variety, plenty of places to get wet feet!

        Like

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