Sawley Angels

The “Sawley Angels”, dating from around 1270-80, are on display in the new sculpture gallery of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. These beautifully carved fragments come from an ornate tomb canopy, made from Dolomite limestone, and were taken from the church of All Saints, in Sawley.

The angels are perfuming the tomb beneath with incense, just as the body of the deceased might have been censed during the funeral service. Originally painted, the canopy would have drawn attention to the tomb, which must have occupied a prominent position in the church.

Photographs by Barry Cope of the Sawley & District Historical Society

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