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The Coronation mantle and the Westminster sanctuary pavement

Grant, L. (2014) The Coronation mantle and the Westminster sanctuary pavement. The Mediaeval Journal, 4 (1). pp. 1-21. ISSN 2033-5385

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1484/J.TMJ.1.103938


The Great Sanctuary pavement at Westminster Abbey, on which the kings of England were crowned, features a design of rotated squares, around a central roundel of unusual Egyptian alabaster, set within a circle of bright blue glass. The roundel’s visual resemblance to the world and the firmament is underlined by a surrounding inscription, identifying it as the world, the macrocosm. This paper proposes that the design and meaning of the Great Sanctuary pavement reflect the square macrocosmic mantle in which the English king was wrapped during the coronation ceremony. This paper underlines the special nature of the English coronation mantle within the context of other royal and imperial cosmic mantles. Its square form was unique, and it featured in the English coronation liturgies in a way that European mantles did not. The English liturgies stressed its role as a representation of the world or macrocosm

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > History
ID Code:56765

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