The Rood in Britain and Ireland c.900-c.1500

2-3 September 2016

King’s Manor, University of York

Keynote Speaker: Dr Julian Luxford, Reader in History of Art, University of St Andrews

The rood – understood as the cross itself, and/or the image of Christ crucified – was central to the visual and devotional culture of medieval Christianity. By the late middle ages, a rood was present in monumental form, either painted or sculpted, at the east end of the nave of every church. Yet roods in numerous other forms could be found in ecclesiastical contexts: as images, in various sizes and media – in manuscript illumination, on textiles, and in stained glass. Images of the rood were also to be found within domestic, civic, and military contexts, from the bedroom to the battlefield.

Following recent scholarship that has focused on early medieval roods (Sancta Crux/Halig Rod series, 2004-2010), and considered monumental roods on the Continent (Jacqueline Jung’s The Gothic Screen, 2013), this conference will bring together established academics, early career and emerging scholars, to share new research and foster debate on the forms and functions of images of the rood in Britain and Ireland c.900-c.1500.

In considering the monumental church rood together with its counterparts in other media and contexts, this conference aims to reassess the complexities of the central image within the medieval Christian imagination.

Organisers: Dr Philippa Turner and Dr Jane Hawkes, Department of History of Art, University of York
Any inquires should be addressed to

© Chapter of York:  Reproduced by kind permission

York Minster Archives MS.XVI.K.6 folio81r