The Parish Church in Ludlow is famous for its 15th century misericords in the chancel stalls. These ignored carvings are found underneath choir stall seats and are mostly found in areas of the country whose wealth came from the medieval wool trade. The largest collection is housed at Salisbury Cathedral (106) compared to Hereford Cathedral (40) and the 28 intricately carved designs here in Ludlow.
Finally I have managed to get some decent photos of them all, so let me introduce you to them:
South Side 11 – 15
S11: This is another famous misericord showing a drunken tapster drawing wine from a cask while holding the bung in his left hand. It shows the trusted servant who abuses his trust and was a well-known moral tale about a monk who grew addicted to the wine and ale under his charge.
S12: This one appears to be a celebration of the wine barrel, but is likely to be a homily on the perils of drink. The detail is exquisite – the diamond-shaped purses, the brass pots and jugs and the barrels with the wooden hoops.
S13: The figure here is either a pupil or schoolmaster at the school run by the Palmers Guild, which later became the Grammar School in Ludlow. The hooded masks at either side are puzzling. One male the other female which may indicate parents.
S15: This appears to have been reconstructed from fragments and attached to a new seat, perhaps around the church’s restoration in 1860. The centre corbel is almost intact with a finely carved rose and fetterlock – an obvious Yorkist badge – by the same carver as N15. The single twisted ring may have been part of a garland of flowers representing York’s Garland which was too damaged to salvage.
Source of text: Historic Ludlow ” The Misericords and Choir Stalls” by Peter Klein (1986)