Gothic Revival architecture
Gothic Revival is an architectural movement popular in the Western world that began in the late 1740s in England. Its popularity grew in the early 19th century, when serious and learned admirers of neo-Gothic styles sought to revive medieval Gothic architecture, in contrast to the neoclassical styles prevalent at the time. Gothic Revival draws features from the original Gothic style, including decorative patterns, lancet windows, hood moulds and label stops; the Gothic Revival movement emerged in 18th-century England. Its roots were intertwined with philosophical movements associated with Catholicism and a re-awakening of High Church or Anglo-Catholic belief concerned by the growth of religious nonconformism; the "Anglo-Catholicism" tradition of religious belief and style became widespread for its intrinsic appeal in the third quarter of the 19th century. Gothic Revival architecture varied in its faithfulness to both the ornamental style and principles of construction of its medieval original, sometimes amounting to little more than pointed window frames and a few touches of Gothic decoration on a building otherwise on a wholly 19th-century plan and using contemporary materials and construction methods.
In parallel to the ascendancy of neo-Gothic styles in 19th-century England, interest spread to the continent of Europe, in Australia, Sierra Leone, South Africa and to the Americas. The influence of the Revival had peaked by the 1870s. New architectural movements, sometimes related as in the Arts and Crafts movement, sometimes in outright opposition, such as Modernism, gained ground, by the 1930s the architecture of the Victorian era was condemned or ignored; the 20th century saw a revival of interest, manifested in the United Kingdom by the establishment of the Victorian Society in 1958. The rise of Evangelicalism in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries saw in England a reaction in the High church movement which sought to emphasise the continuity between the established church and the pre-Reformation Catholic church. Architecture, in the form of the Gothic Revival, became one of the main weapons in the High church's armoury; the Gothic Revival was paralleled and supported by "medievalism", which had its roots in antiquarian concerns with survivals and curiosities.
As "industrialisation" progressed, a reaction against machine production and the appearance of factories grew. Proponents of the picturesque such as Thomas Carlyle and Augustus Pugin took a critical view of industrial society and portrayed pre-industrial medieval society as a golden age. To Pugin, Gothic architecture was infused with the Christian values, supplanted by classicism and were being destroyed by industrialisation. Gothic Revival took on political connotations. In English literature, the architectural Gothic Revival and classical Romanticism gave rise to the Gothic novel genre, beginning with The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford, inspired a 19th-century genre of medieval poetry that stems from the pseudo-bardic poetry of "Ossian". Poems such as "Idylls of the King" by Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson recast modern themes in medieval settings of Arthurian romance. In German literature, the Gothic Revival had a grounding in literary fashions. Gothic architecture began at the Basilica of Saint Denis near Paris, the Cathedral of Sens in 1140 and ended with a last flourish in the early 16th century with buildings like Henry VII's Chapel at Westminster.
However, Gothic architecture did not die out in the 16th century but instead lingered in on-going cathedral-building projects. In Bologna, in 1646, the Baroque architect Carlo Rainaldi constructed Gothic vaults for the Basilica of San Petronio in Bologna, under construction since 1390. Guarino Guarini, a 17th-century Theatine monk active in Turin, recognized the "Gothic order" as one of the primary systems of architecture and made use of it in his practice. Gothic architecture survived in an urban setting during the 17th century, as shown in Oxford and Cambridge, where some additions and repairs to Gothic buildings were considered to be more in keeping with the style of the original structures than contemporary Baroque. Sir Christopher Wren's Tom Tower for Christ Church, University of Oxford, Nicholas Hawksmoor's west towers of Westminster Abbey, blur the boundaries between what is called "Gothic survival" and the Gothic Revival. Throughout France in the 16th and 17th centuries, churches such as St-Eustache continued to be built following gothic forms cloaked in classical details, until the arrival of Baroque architecture.
In the mid-18th century, with the rise of Romanticism, an increased in
The term stained glass can refer to coloured glass as a material or to works created from it. Throughout its thousand-year history, the term has been applied exclusively to the windows of churches and other significant religious buildings. Although traditionally made in flat panels and used as windows, the creations of modern stained glass artists include three-dimensional structures and sculpture. Modern vernacular usage has extended the term "stained glass" to include domestic lead light and objects d'art created from foil glasswork exemplified in the famous lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany; as a material stained glass is glass, coloured by adding metallic salts during its manufacture. The coloured glass is crafted into stained glass windows in which small pieces of glass are arranged to form patterns or pictures, held together by strips of lead and supported by a rigid frame. Painted details and yellow stain are used to enhance the design; the term stained glass is applied to windows in which the colours have been painted onto the glass and fused to the glass in a kiln.
Stained glass, as an art and a craft, requires the artistic skill to conceive an appropriate and workable design, the engineering skills to assemble the piece. A window must fit snugly into the space for which it is made, must resist wind and rain, especially in the larger windows, must support its own weight. Many large windows have withstood the test of time and remained intact since the Late Middle Ages. In Western Europe they constitute the major form of pictorial art to have survived. In this context, the purpose of a stained glass window is not to allow those within a building to see the world outside or primarily to admit light but rather to control it. For this reason stained glass windows have been described as "illuminated wall decorations"; the design of a window may be figurative. Windows within a building may be thematic, for example: within a church – episodes from the life of Christ. Stained glass is still popular today, but referred to as art glass, it is prevalent in luxury homes, commercial buildings, places of worship.
Artists and companies are contracted to create beautiful art glass ranging from domes, backsplashes, etc. During the late medieval period, glass factories were set up where there was a ready supply of silica, the essential material for glass manufacture. Silica requires a high temperature to melt, something not all glass factories were able to achieve; such materials as potash and lead can be added to lower the melting temperature. Other substances, such as lime, are added to rebuild the weakened network and make the glass more stable. Glass is coloured by adding metallic oxide powders or finely divided metals while it is in a molten state. Copper oxides produce green or bluish green, cobalt makes deep blue, gold produces wine red and violet glass. Much modern red glass is produced using copper, less expensive than gold and gives a brighter, more vermilion shade of red. Glass coloured while in the clay pot in the furnace is known as pot metal glass, as opposed to flashed glass. Using a blow-pipe, a "gather" of molten glass is taken from the pot heating in the furnace.
The gather is formed to a bubble of air blown into it. Using metal tools, molds of wood that have been soaking in water, gravity, the gather is manipulated to form a long, cylindrical shape; as it cools, it is reheated. During the process, the bottom of the cylinder is removed. Once brought to the desired size it is left to cool. One side of the cylinder is opened, it is put into another oven to heat and flatten it, placed in an annealer to cool at a controlled rate, making the material more stable. "Hand-blown" cylinder and crown glass were the types used in ancient stained-glass windows. Stained glass windows were in churches and chapels as well as many more well respected buildings; this hand-blown glass is created by blowing a bubble of air into a gather of molten glass and spinning it, either by hand or on a table that revolves like a potter's wheel. The centrifugal force causes the molten bubble to flatten, it can be cut into small sheets. Glass formed this way can be either coloured and used for stained-glass windows, or uncoloured as seen in small paned windows in 16th- and 17th-century houses.
Concentric, curving waves are characteristic of the process. The center of each piece of glass, known as the "bull's-eye", is subject to less acceleration during spinning, so it remains thicker than the rest of the sheet, it has the distinctive lump of glass left by the "pontil" rod, which holds the glass as it is spun out. This lumpy, refractive quality means the bulls-eyes are less transparent, but they have still been used for windows, both domestic and ecclesiastical. Crown glass is still made today, but not on a large scale. Rolled glass is produced by pouring molten glass onto a metal or graphite table and rolling it into a sheet using a large metal cylinder, similar to rolling out a pie crust; the rolling can be done by machine. Glass can be "double rolled", which means it is passed through two cylinders at once to yield glass of a specified thickness (typically about 1/8" or
Edward Schroeder Prior
Edward Schroeder Prior was an architect, instrumental in establishing the arts and crafts movement. He was one of the foremost theorists of the second generation of the movement, writing extensively on architecture, art and the building process and subsequently influencing the training of many architects, he was a major contributor to the development of the Art Workers Guild and other organisations that lay at the heart of the movement's attempts to bring art and architecture closer together. His scholarly work A History of Gothic Art in England, achieved international acclaim, he became one of the leading architectural educationalists of his generation. As Slade Professor of Fine Art at Cambridge University he established the School of Architectural Studies, his buildings show the influence of his mentor Norman Shaw and Philip Webb, but Prior experimented with materials and volume from the start of his independent practice. He developed a style, intensely individual and a practical philosophy of construction, nearer to Ruskin's ideal of the "builder designer" than that of any other arts and crafts architect.
The buildings of his maturity, such as The Barn and Home Place, Kelling are amongst the most original of the period. In St Andrew's Church, Roker, he produced his masterpiece, a church, now recognised as one of the best of the early 20th century. Edward Schroeder Prior was born in Greenwich on 4 January 1852, his parents' fourth son, one of eleven children, his father John Venn Prior, a barrister in the Chancery division, died at the age of 43 as a result of a fall from a horse. Edward was aged 10 at the time, his mother, Hebe Catherine Prior, moved the family from their house in Croom's Hill, Greenwich to Harrow, where Edward's eldest brother John Templer was at school and where local resident families paid reduced fees for day boys. Here, next door to the house of Matthew Arnold, she started a school for children whose parents were in India, Edward was one of its first pupils. In 1863 at the unusually young age of 11, Edward entered Harrow School. Here his interest in natural history, art and science was fostered by F. W. Farrar, H. M. Butler and B. F. Westcott, his housemaster and private tutor.
Prior remained connected to Harrow School and was to design two buildings for the school. In 1869 Prior won the Sayer Scholarship "for the promotion of classical learning and taste" to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge to read the Classical Tripos, he augmented the Sayer Scholarship by gaining a college scholarship. In the same year B. F. Westcott was appointed Regius Professor of Divinity. Prior continued to gain from his instruction in architectural drawing at Cambridge. Other influences were Matthew Digby Wyatt and Sidney Colvin, the first and second Slade Professors of Fine Art. Wyatt's lecture programme for 1871 included engraving, stained glass and mosaic. Prior's interest in the applied arts was strongly encouraged by Wyatt. Colvin, a friend of Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, was elected Slade Professor in January 1873. At Cambridge, Prior was exposed to the work of William Morris. For example, G. F. Bodley employed Morris & Co. to decorate All Saints Church in 1864–1866 and to design the glass for others of his Cambridge buildings.
Prior was a noted athlete at Cambridge. He was a blue in long jump and high jump and won the British Amateur High Jump in 1872. In the autumn of 1874 Prior was articled to Norman Shaw at 30 Argyll Street. Shaw seems to have been his first choice as mentor. Shaw had been George Edmund Street's chief clerk and had set up in partnership with William Eden Nesfield in 1866; the partnership only lasted until 1869, though Nesfield continued to share the premises until 1876. Shaw had made his name through country houses such as Northumberland. At the time Shaw's architecture was regarded as original and on its own by the younger generation of architects, his practice was attracting brilliant young architects. Shaw's pupils were articled for three years, learning to measure buildings and to draw plans and elevations for contracts. At the time Prior joined Shaw the practice was still small, with only three rooms shared with Nesfield. Shaw had a limited number of assistants and pupils, including Ernest Newton, who had joined Shaw in 1873 but who left to set up on his own in 1879, Richard Creed and William West Neve, soon to set up in practice on his own behalf.
Nesfield's assistant at the time was E. J. May, a former pupil of Decimus Burton, responsible for the Palm House at Kew Gardens amongst other buildings, it was only that the group that produced some of the most exciting Arts and Crafts Movement Architecture and scholarship and provided the impetus to the Movement came together under Shaw. William Lethaby joined the practice as Chief Assistant in 1878, Mervyn Macartney joined as a pupil in the same year and Gerald Horsley in 1879. May and Newton both set up in practice nearby. Horsley illustrated Prior's A History of Gothic Art in England; the St George's Art Society grew out of the discussions held amongst Shaw's past and present staff at Newton's Hart Street offices. In the late 1870s and early 1880s Shaw's prestige was enhanced by major success with "spectacular perspectives" exhibited at Royal Academy exhibitions; as Chief Draftsman Newton was the main influence on the drawing style though Prior may have made a considerable contr
Fresco is a technique of mural painting executed upon freshly laid, or wet lime plaster. Water is used as the vehicle for the dry-powder pigment to merge with the plaster, with the setting of the plaster, the painting becomes an integral part of the wall; the word fresco is derived from the Italian adjective fresco meaning "fresh", may thus be contrasted with fresco-secco or secco mural painting techniques, which are applied to dried plaster, to supplement painting in fresco. The fresco technique has been employed since antiquity and is associated with Italian Renaissance painting. Buon fresco pigment is mixed with room temperature water and is used on a thin layer of wet, fresh plaster, called the intonaco; because of the chemical makeup of the plaster, a binder is not required, as the pigment mixed with the water will sink into the intonaco, which itself becomes the medium holding the pigment. The pigment is absorbed by the wet plaster; the chemical processes are as follows: calcination of limestone in a lime kiln: CaCO3 → CaO + CO2 slaking of quicklime: CaO + H2O → Ca2 setting of the lime plaster: Ca2 + CO2 → CaCO3 + H2O In painting buon fresco, a rough underlayer called the arriccio is added to the whole area to be painted and allowed to dry for some days.
Many artists sketched their compositions on this underlayer, which would never be seen, in a red pigment called sinopia, a name used to refer to these under-paintings. Later,new techniques for transferring paper drawings to the wall were developed; the main lines of a drawing made on paper were pricked over with a point, the paper held against the wall, a bag of soot banged on them on produce black dots along the lines. If the painting was to be done over an existing fresco, the surface would be roughened to provide better adhesion. On the day of painting, the intonaco, a thinner, smooth layer of fine plaster was added to the amount of wall, expected to be completed that day, sometimes matching the contours of the figures or the landscape, but more just starting from the top of the composition; this area is called the giornata, the different day stages can be seen in a large fresco, by a sort of seam that separates one from the next. Buon frescoes are difficult to create because of the deadline associated with the drying plaster.
A layer of plaster will require ten to twelve hours to dry. Once a giornata is dried, no more buon fresco can be done, the unpainted intonaco must be removed with a tool before starting again the next day. If mistakes have been made, it may be necessary to remove the whole intonaco for that area—or to change them a secco. An indispensable component of this process is the carbonatation of the lime, which fixes the colour in the plaster ensuring durability of the fresco for future generations. A technique used in the popular frescoes of Michelangelo and Raphael was to scrape indentations into certain areas of the plaster while still wet to increase the illusion of depth and to accent certain areas over others; the eyes of the people of the School of Athens are sunken-in using this technique which causes the eyes to seem deeper and more pensive. Michelangelo used this technique as part of his trademark'outlining' of his central figures within his frescoes. In a wall-sized fresco, there may be ten to twenty or more giornate, or separate areas of plaster.
After five centuries, the giornate, which were nearly invisible, have sometimes become visible, in many large-scale frescoes, these divisions may be seen from the ground. Additionally, the border between giornate was covered by an a secco painting, which has since fallen off. One of the first painters in the post-classical period to use this technique was the Isaac Master in the Upper Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi. A person who creates fresco is called a frescoist. A secco or fresco-secco painting is done on dry plaster; the pigments thus require a binding medium, such as egg, glue or oil to attach the pigment to the wall. It is important to distinguish between a secco work done on top of buon fresco, which according to most authorities was in fact standard from the Middle Ages onwards, work done a secco on a blank wall. Buon fresco works are more durable than any a secco work added on top of them, because a secco work lasts better with a roughened plaster surface, whilst true fresco should have a smooth one.
The additional a secco work would be done to make changes, sometimes to add small details, but because not all colours can be achieved in true fresco, because only some pigments work chemically in the alkaline environment of fresh lime-based plaster. Blue was a particular problem, skies and blue robes were added a secco, because neither azurite blue nor lapis lazuli, the only two blue pigments available, works well in wet fresco, it has become clear, thanks to modern analytical techniques, that in the early Italian Renaissance painters quite employed a secco techniques so as to allow the use of a broader range of pigments. In most early examples this work has now vanished, but a whole painting done a secco on a surface roughened to give a key for the paint may survive well
The Renaissance is a period in European history, covering the span between the 14th and 17th centuries and marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity. The traditional view focuses more on the early modern aspects of the Renaissance and argues that it was a break from the past, but many historians today focus more on its medieval aspects and argue that it was an extension of the middle ages; the intellectual basis of the Renaissance was its version of humanism, derived from the concept of Roman Humanitas and the rediscovery of classical Greek philosophy, such as that of Protagoras, who said that "Man is the measure of all things." This new thinking became manifest in art, politics and literature. Early examples were the development of perspective in oil painting and the recycled knowledge of how to make concrete. Although the invention of metal movable type sped the dissemination of ideas from the 15th century, the changes of the Renaissance were not uniformly experienced across Europe: the first traces appear in Italy as early as the late 13th century, in particular with the writings of Dante and the paintings of Giotto.
As a cultural movement, the Renaissance encompassed innovative flowering of Latin and vernacular literatures, beginning with the 14th-century resurgence of learning based on classical sources, which contemporaries credited to Petrarch. In politics, the Renaissance contributed to the development of the customs and conventions of diplomacy, in science to an increased reliance on observation and inductive reasoning. Although the Renaissance saw revolutions in many intellectual pursuits, as well as social and political upheaval, it is best known for its artistic developments and the contributions of such polymaths as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, who inspired the term "Renaissance man"; the Renaissance began in the 14th century in Italy. Various theories have been proposed to account for its origins and characteristics, focusing on a variety of factors including the social and civic peculiarities of Florence at the time: its political structure, the patronage of its dominant family, the Medici, the migration of Greek scholars and texts to Italy following the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks.
Other major centres were northern Italian city-states such as Venice, Milan and Rome during the Renaissance Papacy. The Renaissance has a long and complex historiography, and, in line with general scepticism of discrete periodizations, there has been much debate among historians reacting to the 19th-century glorification of the "Renaissance" and individual culture heroes as "Renaissance men", questioning the usefulness of Renaissance as a term and as a historical delineation; the art historian Erwin Panofsky observed of this resistance to the concept of "Renaissance": It is no accident that the factuality of the Italian Renaissance has been most vigorously questioned by those who are not obliged to take a professional interest in the aesthetic aspects of civilization – historians of economic and social developments and religious situations, most natural science – but only exceptionally by students of literature and hardly by historians of Art. Some observers have called into question whether the Renaissance was a cultural "advance" from the Middle Ages, instead seeing it as a period of pessimism and nostalgia for classical antiquity, while social and economic historians of the longue durée, have instead focused on the continuity between the two eras, which are linked, as Panofsky observed, "by a thousand ties".
The word Renaissance meaning "Rebirth", first appeared in English in the 1830s. The word occurs in Jules Michelet's 1855 work, Histoire de France; the word Renaissance has been extended to other historical and cultural movements, such as the Carolingian Renaissance and the Renaissance of the 12th century. The Renaissance was a cultural movement that profoundly affected European intellectual life in the early modern period. Beginning in Italy, spreading to the rest of Europe by the 16th century, its influence was felt in literature, art, politics, science and other aspects of intellectual inquiry. Renaissance scholars employed the humanist method in study, searched for realism and human emotion in art. Renaissance humanists such as Poggio Bracciolini sought out in Europe's monastic libraries the Latin literary and oratorical texts of Antiquity, while the Fall of Constantinople generated a wave of émigré Greek scholars bringing precious manuscripts in ancient Greek, many of which had fallen into obscurity in the West.
It is in their new focus on literary and historical texts that Renaissance scholars differed so markedly from the medieval scholars of the Renaissance of the 12th century, who had focused on studying Greek and Arabic works of natural sciences and mathematics, rather than on such cultural texts. In the revival of neo-Platonism Renaissance humanists did not reject Christianity. However, a subtle shift took place in the way that intellectuals approached religion, reflected in many other areas of cultural life. In addition, many Greek Christian works, including the Greek New Testament, were brought back from Byzantium to Western Europe and engaged Western scholars for the first time since late antiquity; this new engagement with Greek Christian works, the return to the original Greek of the Ne
Edward R. Taylor
Edward Richard Taylor RBSA was an English artist and educator. He painted in both watercolours, he became a member of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists in 1879. Taylor taught at the Lincoln School of Art, where amongst his pupils were William Logsdail and Frank Bramley, became influential in the Arts and Crafts movement as the first headmaster at the Birmingham Municipal School of Arts and Crafts from 1877-1903. In December 1898, he founded Ruskin Pottery at Staffordshire, his son William Howson Taylor took over Ruskin Pottery after the death of his father. Birmingham Group Atterbury, Paul & Henson, John. Ruskin Pottery: Pottery of Edward Richard Taylor and William Howson Taylor, 1898-1933. Paintings by E R Taylor
Malvern is a spa town and civil parish in Worcestershire, England. It lies at the foot of a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; the centre of Malvern, Great Malvern, is a historic conservation area, which grew in Victorian times due to the natural mineral water springs in the vicinity, including Malvern Water. At the 2011 census it had a population of 29,626, it includes Great Malvern on the steep eastern flank of the Malvern Hills, as well as the former independent urban district of Malvern Link. Many of the major suburbs and settlements that comprise the town are separated by large tracts of open common land and fields, together with smaller civil parishes adjoining the town's boundaries and the hills, the built up area is referred to collectively as The Malverns. Archaeological evidence suggests that Bronze Age people had settled in the area around 1000 BC, although it is not known whether these settlements were permanent or temporary; the town itself was founded in the 11th century when Benedictine monks established a priory at the foot of the highest peak of Malvern Hills.
During the 19th century Malvern developed from a village to a sprawling conurbation owing to its popularity as a hydrotherapy spa based on its spring waters. Following the decline of spa tourism towards the end of the 19th century, the town's focus shifted to education with the establishment of several private boarding schools in former hotels and large villas. A further major expansion was the result of the relocation of the Telecommunications Research Establishment to Malvern in 1942. QinetiQ, TRE's successor company, remains the town's largest local employer. Malvern is the largest place in the parliamentary constituency of West Worcestershire and the district of Malvern Hills, being the district's administrative seat, it lies adjacent to the Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The civil parish is governed by Malvern Town Council from its offices in Great Malvern; the name Malvern is derived from the ancient British or old Welsh moel-bryn, meaning "Bare or Bald Hill", the modern equivalent being the Welsh moelfryn.
It has been known as Malferna and Much Malvern. Flint axes and flakes found in the area are attributed to early Bronze Age settlers, the "Shire Ditch", a late Bronze Age boundary earthwork dating from around 1000 BC, was constructed along part of the crest of the hills near the site of settlements; the Wyche Cutting, a pass through the hills, was in use in prehistoric times as part of the salt route from Droitwich to South Wales. A 19th-century discovery of over two hundred metal money bars suggests that the area had been inhabited by the La Tène people around 250 BC. Ancient folklore has it that the British chieftain Caractacus made his last stand against the Romans at the British Camp, a site of extensive Iron Age earthworks on a summit of the Malvern Hills close to where Malvern was to be established; the story remains disputed, however, as Roman historian Tacitus implies a site closer to the river Severn. There is therefore no evidence. However, excavations at nearby Midsummer Hill fort, Bredon Hill, Croft Ambrey all show evidence of violent destruction around the year 48 AD.
This may suggest that the British Camp was destroyed around the same time. A study made by Royal Commission in 2005 that includes aerial photographs of the Hills "amply demonstrates the archaeological potential of this neglected landscape, provides food for thought for a number of research projects". A pottery industry based on the Malverns left remains dating from the Late Bronze Age to the Norman Conquest, shown by methods of archaeological petrology. Via the River Severn, products were traded as far as South Wales; the Longdon and other marshes at the foot of Malvern Chase were grazed by cattle. "Woodland management was considerable". Little is known about Malvern over the next thousand years until it is described as "an hermitage, or some kind of religious house, for seculars, before the conquest, endowed by the gift of Edward the Confessor"; the additions to William Dugdale's Monasticon include an extract from the Pleas taken before the King at York in 1387, stating that there was a congregation of hermits at Malvern "some time before the conquest".
Although a Malvern priory existed before the Norman Conquest, it is the settlement of nearby Little Malvern, the site of another, smaller priory, mentioned in the Domesday Book. A motte-and-bailey castle built on the top tier of the earthworks of the British Camp just before the Norman Conquest was founded by the Saxon Earl Harold Godwinson of Hereford, it was destroyed by King Henry II in 1155. The town developed around its 11th-century priory, a Benedictine monastery, of which only the large parish church and the abbey gateway remain. Several different histories explain the actual founding of the religious community. Legend tells that the settlement began following the murder of St. Werstan, a monk of Deerhurst, who fled from the Danes and took refuge in the woods of Malvern, where the hermitage had been established. St Werstan's oratory is thought to have been on the site of St Michael's Chapel, believed to have stood on the site of Bello Sguardo, a Victorian Villa, built on the site of Hermitage Cottage.
The cottage was demolished in 1825 and ecclesiastical carvings were found in it, along with a mediaeval undercroft, human bones, parts of a coffin. Although the legend may be monastic mythology, historians have however concluded that St. Werstan was the original martyr; the first prior, Aldwy