Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The White Boar and the White Rose

You never know what you might find when you do some dusting or dig up a car park . . .

It was while helping to dust the screen in the church opposite my studio, that I noticed the carving of a wild boar painted white - it rang a bell deep in the dusty recesses of my memory.

The White Boar was the badge of Richard III 

Have you been following the discovery and this week's reburial of King Richard III aka the King in the Car Park?

I can imagine the historians and archaeologists involved in the project are getting very excited, as are thousands of others who are prepared to queue for hours to see the coffin in Leicester Cathedral. Richard has certainly put Leicester on the tourist map!

Back to The White Boar, there's some interesting information hereI wonder if our village church screen dates from Richard III's short reign 1483-5?

Richard of York (as he was known before he became Duke of Gloucester and then King) may have chosen for his badge a Boar as a pun on Eboracumthe Roman name for York. Another part of the church screen has a White Rose which was the badge of the Yorkists in the Wars of the Roses.

In the right hand corner of the same panel is a White and Red Rose . . . the Tudor Rose which became England's badge uniting houses of York and Lancashire when Henry VII defeated Richard III at Bosworth in 1485. Although a Tudor Rose is usually red with a white centre, so I wonder if the roses have always been painted in these colours or have they been changed over the years - or was the rose painted by a Yorkist reluctantly adding a red centre? The North Aisle of the church was built in the 1480s which also includes a Tudor Rose, was paid for by Robert Wyburgh, did he also install the screen? was he a supporter of Richard of York?
The screen has somehow survived the Reformation and the Civil War, and it may have been painted (repainted?) in the 18th century.


If it's not Richard's badge then whose is it?
Please pop over to the next blog post for an up date!


If you are interested in the background behind the story of Richard III and whether he was a villain or not, I can thoroughly recommend this book: 

I first read 'The Daughter of Time' when I was at school and still have my paperback copy. This week's ceremonial reburial of Richard's bones is an interesting epilogue to the story.



  1. How interesting. It would be lovely to know more about the history of the screen, I wonder where you could look to find out.

    1. Hi Su
      I've just found and added some extra info about the screen. I don't think anyone knows for sure when or where it was made. Amazing it has survived all this time.

  2. Celia, as I was reading this post, and began to grasp just how long that screen had exisited and how many other people have helped to keep it dusted, history really came alive. Awe inspiring dusting, indeed.

    I am reminded of just how comparatively recently my country was "discovered" by folks sailing across the seas. How how little we relative newcomers might actually know about the native Americans who'd been here for a while longer.

    History is very interesting, isn't it? xo

    1. Yes generations of people dusting!
      We tend to take history for granted, especially treasures on our own doorsteps.
      The designs are skillfully carved, I like to think about the anonymous craftspeople who put such care and imagination into their work.

  3. Fascinating, and could well be that old and of his time indeed!

  4. How fascinating and wonderful that the screen could date back so far.

  5. I have always looked on Richard with new eyes after reading A daughter of time, many many years ago, and realized how historical fact can be changed. Such a beautiful screen to be able to dust.


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