14 September - Archaeology - Mason's Slab
Following with this year's ecclesiastical theme we've just started work today at a new site at the parish church of Holy Trinity in Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire; we're going to be posting a lot more on the project as it progresses, but for the moment here's one of our first findings from beneath the pews….
Scribed into this limestone slab are a series of straight lines and arcs that describe the setting out of the complex tracery design of one of the church windows. The sinuous ogee curve of the tracery can be made out, with arcing cusps which would have formed the pointed tops of the window lights. There are more fragments nearby, so we're hoping to be able to piece together the full design, and will be checking to see if it matches any of the surviving medieval tracery.
We're not yet sure whether this setting out dates from the medieval church, or from a major rebuild in 1842, but either way it is a rare insight into the thought process of the mason, and a reminder of the geometry that lies behind window tracery.
Chiz Harward BA MCIfA Urban Archaeology