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St Teilo’s Church

June 2011

Hidden Splendour

Posted by Sara Huws on 23 June 2011

Good morning. I can't stop long as there are many tasks to carry out this morning: light the incense, set up the processional cross, chalice and paten and get into 1520s costume. That itself is no mean feat, and I got up early to braid my hair medieval-style today, too. One of the Tudor Group showed me how when they were here over Easter, and she made it look really simple! I haven't quite got the hang of it, but it looks medieval enough. I hope to be up to speed for our Tudor Fashion event next month, so practice makes perfect.

Meanwhile, I am preparing a film of last year's re-enactment for the gallery's 1500-1700 exhibition. Some of my favourite Tudor objects from our collection are on display, including both surviving Rood figures from pre-reformation Wales. The Cemmaes (Kemeys) Rood was found hidden in a wall in the 1850s. Not much is known about how it came to be there. What is certain is that it's a very, very rare artefact relating to Wales' religious past.

Rood Figure
Rood figure detail

Conservator and all-round Renaissance lady Penny Hill has worked on the sculpture, and will be joining us on Saturday to tell us more about this mysterious object. An expert on pigments and the colour of the past, Penny will be looking at the sculpture's links to places and people beyond the small parish where it was found.

Natural pigments used in the decoration of sculptures

I hope you'll join us on Saturday, 2pm, in Oriel 1 at St Fagans. More information is available, Monday to Friday, on 029 20 57 3424