A misericord (or ‘miserere’ or ‘mercy seat’) is a small wooden hinged bracket or ledge on the underside of folding seats in a church, usually of the medieval period. When the stall seat is folded up, the projecting misericord forms a ledge for leaning on while standing. Although it does not quite form a seat, the miserere usually offers support to anyone who would lean on it. This was useful for the aged and infirm when it was necessary to stand during long services – particularly in the Roman Catholic faith – as it reduced their discomfort.
The term derives from the Latin ‘misericordia’ which means ‘pity of the heart’ as allowing people to use them was regarded as an act of mercy.
Misericords in English churches date from the 13th century to the present. They are often boldly carved with leaves, foliage, animals and small figures and can be found in nearly all churches that still have ancient pews. A typical example in a 13th century style is to be found in Henry VII’s chapel, Westminster, London. Exeter Cathedral also has them in choir stalls dating from the middle of the 13th century. However, most English misericords date from the 14th and 15th centuries. Many were destroyed during the Reformation, especially if they had been part of monasteries or collegiate churches.
- 39 cathedrals to benefit from grants for repairs.
- Conservation areas.
- IHBC articles.
- Listed buildings.
- Planning authority duty to provide specialist conservation advice.
- Principles of conservation.
- The history of listed buildings.
- The Institute of Historic Building Conservation.
The Heritage Sector Resilience Plan, developed by the Historic Environment Forum (HEF) with the support of Historic England, has been launched.
An ‘All-Island’ commitment to Ireland’s vernacular heritage has been established with the signing of the North South Agreement on Vernacular Heritage, supporting traditional buildings etc.
Canons House, a landmark building on Bristol Harbourside, has been awarded Grade II (GII) listed status having been built as a regional headquarters for Lloyds Bank between 1988 and 1991 (Arup)
The Building Research Establishment (BRE) has announced a new project with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to improve and modernise the home energy rating scheme used to measure the energy and environmental performance of UK homes.
Sector lead the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) has recognised the IHBC’s professional accreditation and support (CPD etc.) in awarding its PQP (Professionally Qualified Person) cards.
The IHBC’s 2022 Aberdeen School Heritage MarketPlace (4.30-7.30PM, 15 June) is designed to extend the scope of a traditional IHBC School exhibition floor.
Work to repair a fire-hit medieval hotel in Gloucester is underway as crews have started work to strip back some of the modern trappings and reveal the historic framework.
Options for in-person and virtual delegates to explore ‘heritage on the edge’ across up to 4 days of IHBC engagement & learning.
The Secretariat to the European Heritage Heads Forum has has coordinated its declaration of solidarity and support for Ukraine’s cultural heritage institutions.
2022 will see the IHBC mark a quarter of a century since our incorporation as a professional body supporting and accrediting built and historic environment conservation specialists. We’re kick-starting it by inviting your ideas on how to mark this special year!