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.
A chance to nominate retired IHBC members and/or successful learners in heritage skills, with prizes that include £500 and a free place at the IHBC’s Aberdeen 2022 Annual School in June.
Donald Insall Associates has been announced as the winner of the new joint award with the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain (SAHGB). The award celebrates the quality of architectural-historical research produced as private consultants or for public bodies etc.
The IHBC seeks to raise awareness and understanding of how building conservation philosophy and practice contributes towards meeting the challenge of climate change.
From Amenity Societies and Wentworth Woodhouse to Kurt Schwitters, Scotland’s Towns, Chester and more...
The former Royal High School building in Edinburgh is to be transformed into a £55 million national centre for music after the City of Edinburgh Council agreed to the lease of the historic property.
The joint-institute document aims to help maintain cultural heritage by providing a consistent framework across different sectors & geographies
IHBC’s Gus Astley Student Awards 2021: Win £500 and a place on IHBC’s 2022 Aberdeen School with your built environment/heritage coursework, closes 31/07!
The last remaining buildings on the site of the Harris meat factory family’s historic mansion are being restored to their former glory and converted into new homes.
The Construction Industry Coronavirus Forum (CICV Forum) has unveiled a new guide to the crucial and increasingly complex issue of professional indemnity insurance (PII).
ICOMOS has advised that the new football stadium proposal, if implemented, would have a completely unacceptable major adverse impact its authenticity and integrity.