A Twelfth Century Workshop in Northampton

Henry Maguire’s seminal paper centering on St Peter’s and the craftmanship of the 12th century masons has stood the test of time.

“The twelfth century parish church of St. Peter in Northampton is remarkable for its rich, if somewhat rustic, carved decoration. It has been discovered that the workshop responsible for its ornamentation also carved a tomb slab in that church, and two fonts in villages near Northampton. The purpose of this paper is to complete the list of surviving carvings that may be assigned to this workshop, and to ascertain its historical context. One cannot deny that the sculpture of the workshop, which dates towards the middle of the twelfth century, makes a modest comparison with Continental work of this period. It is backward, even, in comparison with the best English work of the time, such as the sculptures on the west front of Lincoln Cathedral. However, the art of the workshop, rustic though it appears, conceals a knowledge of twelfth century Continental sculpture. A study of it will reveal the ways and means by which a conservative group of English carvers could reconcile foreign elements with their own native traditions.”

A Twelfth Century Workshop in Northampton - Henry P Maguire