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Kidwelly, Carmathenshire | by Vitrearum (A B Barton)
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Kidwelly, Carmathenshire

This is such a rare survival. This is a late fourteenth century Nottingham alabaster image of the Virgin and Child. It's high on a bracket in the chancel of Kidwelly priory church in Carmarthenshire, but was originally over the south door. It was almost certainly a focus of devotion here in the Middle Ages and continued to be after the Reformation. In the eighteenth and early nineteenth century, according to one source, the women of the parish 'were wont to curtsey to the figure as they passed into church for Divine Service'. Apparently they didn't know why they did this, just that it was an 'old custom'. One of the incumbents in the mid nineteenth century was so shocked by this local custom that he had the image buried, but there was such a furore in the parish that he had to have it dug up again and put in the boiler room. She was later rescued and brought back into the church.

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Taken on August 25, 2016