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date: 02 August 2021

p. 243. The iconoclastslocked

p. 243. The iconoclastslocked

  • Nick Groom


A significant moment in Gothic history comes with the Reformation. This left a developing sense of national uniqueness with a destructive attitude to the past. The puritanical zeal that had caused the destruction of religious statues, church stonework, and stained glass led to an equally extreme backlash. The damaged churches that remained in use and ruins of ecclesiastical masonry meant that the country was no longer tied to its mediaeval past. Between 1536 and 1539, 800 religious houses disappeared. ‘The iconoclasts’ shows how England turned its back on the past. Gothic architecture and the mediaeval fascination with death and the cult of the macabre remained the cornerstone of popular religious culture in early 16th-century England.

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