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‘Hunting for hidden meaning’: an analysis of the history, interpretation and presentation of seventeenth-century plasterwork at St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall

La Borde, Karen Margaret (2012)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This thesis examines the original historical, visual and cultural context for the seventeenth-century plasterwork at St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall. This plasterwork runs in a frieze around the upper section of the walls of a hall in what is now a substantial mansion house atop the Mount. The frieze depicts scenes of hunting all manner of animals, set within an undulating landscape. This study explains the original meaning and significance of the themes and imagery it contains. A history of the Mount from 1523 to 1680 is provided through a re-examination of existing histories and a recent archaeological report along with new material discovered in family, local and state archives. This has enabled a detailed examination of the development of the buildings on the Mount from priory to country home, demonstrating that a building of high status was created into which was installed a decorative frieze. The association of this decoration with the ballad of ‘Chevy Chase’ is analysed through a review of the way in which the frieze has been presented to the public over the years and how its name was imposed as a consequence of early tourism. A visual context and approximate date for the frieze has been provided through comparative analysis of examples of decorative art and artefacts which share similar hunting scenes, in particular the Hertford Borough Charter of 1605.

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:School of History and Cultures
Subjects:CC Archaeology
CD921 Archives
CN Inscriptions. Epigraphy.
D204 Modern History
DA Great Britain
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3478
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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