Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The rood screen was a common feature in the late medieval English church, dividing the chancel from the nave - its function being to separate the clergy from the laity. The word is derived from the Saxon word ‘roda’, meaning a cross.
The screens are often highly decorative, with elaborate carvings and wooden panels featuring images of saints and angels. Many were topped by a cross, and carved statues of the crucified Christ, often flanked by Mary and St John. The vast majority of these were removed or defaced in the 16th century, during the Reformation.
Many fine examples still exist today, although most display the marks of the damage inflicted almost 500 years ago. The earliest known example, dating back to the 13th century, is to be found at Stanton Harcourt , Oxfordshire. The majority date back to the 15th century, such as those at Trull , Somerset and Attleborough, Norfolk.
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