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WAYSIDE ART IN EAST ANGLIA

SHAPES

QUATREFOILS

Just as the other shapes with cusps and foils, such as trefoils, often have a symbolic significance when used on or in church buildings, so do quatrefoils.  Quatrefoils, for example, may represent the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Ironwork quatrefoil motifs are seen here on porch gates, the one on the left at Blundeston Church and the one on the right at Beccles Church, both in Suffolk.

Below:  Quatrefoil carvings in wood on one of a pair of gates at Dennington Church in Suffolk.  Each of the two quatrefoils has floral inserts and they flank a symbolic ‘M’ which presumably stands for the name Mary.

Left: Ironwork quatrefoil motifs on a porch gate at Barningham Church in Suffolk.

Below is a close-up view of a chancel screen inside Dickleburgh Church in Norfolk.  Carved in wood and painted in typical Medieval style in bright colours, each panel, of which this is one, has a large quatrefoil design with foliated cusps and sub-cusps, and figure carvings in the spandrels.  An enormous amount of skill must have gone into the carving of this very fine screen.

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ON MULTIFOILS

Left: A window on the south external wall of Thelnethan Church in Suffolk with stone circles enclosing quatrefoils.

 

Below: Detail of a stone and marble raredos behind the altar in the chancel of the church at Occold in Suffolk.  Installed in 1854, it depicts the four apostles, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.