Lollards and two animals in Amersham
In Old Amersham, Buckinghamshire, inside -and near – St Mary’s grade 1 listed church are rather unusual images. Since the C13th the Church of England existed here in different ways. But on a hill overlooking the church I recently discovered a memorial to the Amersham Martyrs, who were Lollards. Six men and one woman had been burnt at the stake nearby in the early 1500s. As followers of John Wycliffe they had campaigned for the Bible to be translated into English and read. Their memorial now stands but it was not even erected until 1931 by the Protestant Alliance.
Rather different stone images have also been displayed in the local St Mary’s Church. In the south porch not humans but animals are presented. Placed here in the fifteenth century were two sculptural carvings, of a dog and a pig, which still exist. They were apparently forbidden from entering the church (!) though no stories seem to have been displayed about their construction, sculpture or comments of the time.
If anyone knows more about the pig and dog church issues do let me know!