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The misericords and history of Minster-in-Thanet,

St Mary the Virgin.


St Mary’s has eighteen, early 15th century misericords.


Click to launch a description of the misericords of St Mary’s, Minster-in-Thanet


Please click on the thumbnails for larger images.

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Minster in Thanet

History of St Mary The Virgin, Minster-in-Thanet, Kent.

Ermenburga, a great-granddaughter of King Ethelbert of Kent, came to Thanet in the middle of the 7th century from Mercia, a kingdom near Wales where her husband was ruler. Two of her younger brothers had been murdered as a result of a political dispute at the court of their cousin Egbert, King of Kent. Instead of claiming the customary blood money or ‘wergild’ for the murder of her brothers, Ermenburga asked the repentant King for land on which she could build a house of prayer. The King readily agreed.

According to an ancient legend, Ermenburga sent her tame deer on a free course, and the path the animal took determined the boundaries of the monastic lands. The deer has become the symbol for Minster, and the early abbesses of Minster are often pictured with a deer. St. Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, consecrated the new monastery in 670, dedicating it to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Ermenburga, now known as Domneva, became the first Abbess. The nuns lived a life dedicated primarily to the praise of God in the celebration of the Liturgy, gathering in the monastery Church seven times a day for Divine Office and rising for the prayer of Vigils during the night. The monastery also became a centre of learning in East Kent, with its own scriptorium to copy texts of the Holy Scriptures and the Church Fathers. The community would also have had the care of pilgrims and other travellers and a hospice for the sick.

This first church was almost certainly constructed of wattle and daub and survived until the 1070’s.  Shortly after the Norman Conquest, the church was completely rebuilt in stone, however construction work took around 100 years - the oldest part (maybe), is the chancel, built in the early English style, whilst the impressive, five bay nave dates from around 1150.  The tower contains a weird, turret tower, which locally is supposed to be of Saxon origin and would therefore be the oldest part, however, this tower is built of Caen stone, so is probably post Conquest.

The eighteen fine medieval misericords, which are amongst the best misericords in the South East of England date from 1410, which indicates that the abbey was still going strongly at that time, however, in 1534 the abbey applied to be dissolved, which tends to indicate that by that time there were only a couple of sisters, and they were on the breadline.  Surprisingly, none of the misericords show an image of the deer, of which the locals were so fond.

Fortunes change, and by sometime between 1538 and 1561 the first of the current bells had been cast and installed - four more bells were installed between 1626 and 1660, all of which are still in use.

The church seems to be pretty much as it was built, with only minor modern wrinkles - in the storms of 1987 the spire was blown down, but by 1988 the spire had been replaced and bell ringing had resumed.       .


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 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern1.2.jpg
Minster n1.2.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern1.11.jpg
Minster n1.11.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern1.14.jpg
Minster n1.14.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern1.17.jpg
Minster n1.17.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern2.2.jpg
Minster n2.2.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern2.5.jpg
Minster n2.5.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern2.8.jpg
Minster n2.8.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern2.10.jpg
Minster n2.10.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern3.2.jpg
Minster n3.2.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern3.10.jpg
Minster n3.10.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern3.12.jpg
Minster n3.12.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern3.14.jpg
Minster n3.14.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern4.3.jpg
Minster n4.3.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern4.5.jpg
Minster n4.5.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern4.7.jpg
Minster n4.7.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern4.8.jpg
Minster n4.8.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern5.3.jpg
Minster n5.3.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern5.5.jpg
Minster n5.5.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern5.9.jpg
Minster n5.9.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern5.13.jpg
Minster n5.13.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern6.4.jpg
Minster n6.4.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern6.11.jpg
Minster n6.11.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern6.16.jpg
Minster n6.16.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern6.20.jpg
Minster n6.20.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern7.3.jpg
Minster n7.3.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern7.9.jpg
Minster n7.9.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern7.12.jpg
Minster n7.12.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern7.15.jpg
Minster n7.15.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern8.3.jpg
Minster n8.3.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern8.8.jpg
Minster n8.8.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern8.10.jpg
Minster n8.10.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern8.12.jpg
Minster n8.12.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern9.2.jpg
Minster n9.2.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern9.6.jpg
Minster n9.6.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern9.8.jpg
Minster n9.8.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern9.10.jpg
Minster n9.10.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern10.5.jpg
Minster n10.5.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern10.9.jpg
Minster n10.9.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern10.10.jpg
Minster n10.10.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern10.17.jpg
Minster n10.17.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minstern10.21.jpg
Minster n10.21.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters1.3.jpg
Minster s1.3.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters1.7.jpg
Minster s1.7.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters1.11.jpg
Minster s1.11.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters1.15.jpg
Minster s1.15.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters2.3.jpg
Minster s2.3.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters2.6.jpg
Minster s2.6.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters2.13.jpg
Minster s2.13.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters2.16.jpg
Minster s2.16.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters3.3.jpg
Minster s3.3.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters3.5.jpg
Minster s3.5.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters3.11.jpg
Minster s3.11.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters3.13.jpg
Minster s3.13.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters4.5.jpg
Minster s4.5.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters4.7.jpg
Minster s4.7.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters4.11.jpg
Minster s4.11.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters4.14.jpg
Minster s4.14.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters5.3.jpg
Minster s5.3.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters5.12.jpg
Minster s5.12.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters5.17.jpg
Minster s5.17.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters5.20.jpg
Minster s5.20.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters6.3.jpg
Minster s6.3.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters6.8.jpg
Minster s6.8.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters6.12.jpg
Minster s6.12.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters6.15.jpg
Minster s6.15.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters7.4.jpg
Minster s7.4.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters7.7.jpg
Minster s7.7.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters7.8.jpg
Minster s7.8.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters7.12.jpg
Minster s7.12.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters7.14.jpg
Minster s7.14.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters8.4.jpg
Minster s8.4.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters8.7.jpg
Minster s8.7.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters8.11.jpg
Minster s8.11.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsters8.13.jpg
Minster s8.13.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsterstallsn.1.jpg
Minster stalls n.1.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsterstallsn.2.jpg
Minster stalls n.2.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish minsterstallsn.3.jpg
minster stalls n.3.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsterstallss.1.jpg
Minster stalls s.1.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish Minsterstallss.2.jpg
Minster stalls s.2.jpg
 St Mary the Virgin minster in thanet kent Early 15th century medieval misericord misericords misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats kentish minsterstallss.3.jpg
minster stalls s.3.jpg


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