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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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.