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Saints and Corbels

The Nave  Wingrave  BucksViewed from the chancel, Wingrave's nave roof.

Wingrave’s church of St Peter and St Paul has 15th Century corbels and carved wooden figures under the main beams of the nave roof. Hard to make out from ground level, these close up photos reveal a wealth of detail.

There are twelve carved corbels and figures, so at first I thought they were the twelve apostles. But when got home and looked at my photos on the big screen, I saw that each one is holding some object that’s a clue to their identity.

Carving of St. Peter  Wingrave churchIn the front left corner of the nave, I think this is St Peter. He holds the key of heaven in his right hand, and a book, almost certainly the bible, in his left. I’m not sure what or who the corbel represents.

It's very likely the figures and maybe the corbels too were originally painted; making them easier to see from the nave floor.

I’ve managed to identify some of them. I thought the subject of the corbels below each figure might be linked to that particular figure, but it seems in most cases that they are not.

One of the corbels is quite plain, but the carving is crisp and well defined. I suspect it’s a replacement, installed at the same time as the 19th Century roof.

If you have any idea of the symbolism of the stone or wooden carvings here, please leave a comment below.

Wood carving of JesusIn the front right corner of the nave and holding a crucifix, I believe this figure is Jesus, and the corbel below the Virgin Mary.


St Ambrose  Wingrave churchThis must be St Ambrose, as he is holding a beehive. The corbel below seems to be a man about to throw a stone; he looks a bit annoyed. I can find no link with this to St Ambrose.


Saint and dogI can’t identify this saint; he holds a bible but I cannot work out what he holds in his right hand. He has a little dog (corbel) too.


Wooden carving of St Paul  WingraveSt Paul, beheaded in Rome in 67AD, hold a scimitar in his right hand and a bible in his left. He is in the rear left corner of the nave, so at the other end of the same wall as the figure of St Peter. they are the saints this church is dedicated to.

Dragon corbelThe second week in a row I’ve posted a picture of a dragon!

If you have any comments or questions about this post, please leave a comment below.


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