The St John the Baptist Chapel

ST ETHELDREDA – AD 670. A royal princess who fled to Ely to avoid marriage, and who later became Abbess of Ely. She died from unsuccessful surgery to a lump on her neck. She is patron saint of throat ailments.

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ST AGNES – Beheaded c.AD 304, aged thirteen. Patron saint of chastity, gardeners, girls and virgins. There is some confusion as to the identification of the saint in this panel due to an alteration in design during painting. This panel is also attributed to St John the Baptist. There appears the head of a young archbishop over-painted with a beard. Part of a mitre and metropolitan cross are also visible.

ranworth_rood_screen_st_agnes1

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ST JOHN THE BAPTIST – St John the Baptist appears twice in this north altar. The panel to the left was originally planned as a bishop saint, then turned into John the Baptist and the planned John the Baptist painted over with a decorative pattern. It seems this was done by the original painters, indicated from the use of the same stencils as elsewhere on the painting. Oddly the panel was never finished.

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ST BARBARA – In her right hand she holds a tower with three windows, a sign of the trinity, and in her left hand a palm tree, a symbol of martyrdom. She was reputed to have been a beautiful woman who was killed by a jealous father. The father was subsequently struck down by lightning. She became the patron saint of artillery and protection from dying unprepared.

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