Hanging pyxes part II - some examples of its modern revival
Medieval History

Hanging pyxes part II - some examples of its modern revival

Grosvenor Chapel 012, originally uploaded by sarumsleuth.

The Gothic revival architect Sir Ninian Comper was the first to reintroduce the hanging pyx into Anglican churches. The image aboveis of a hanging pyx introduced by Comper into the Grosvenor chapel in London. Its form with the triple crowned canopy, is based on the medieval example recorded in the Islip roll in Westminster Abbey. The earliest hanging pyx Comper installed was in the chapel of the clergy house at St Matthew's Westminster, sadly that has long gone. One of the earliest survivals is in St Wilfrid's Cantley, where the pyx is suspended from a tester above the high altar.

Chancel, Cantley Church
St Wilfrid Cantley, West Yorkshire. Photo by JohnEVigar

Other architects followed Comper's lead and also introduced the hanging pyx. It was popular in the main with those churches that followed the 'English Use' or Sarum brand of Anglo-Catholicism. Here is an example from the 1920s by Randall Blacking in High Wycombe church.

High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. Photo by Sarumsleuth

The hanging pyx at Tewkesbury Abbey, Gloucestershire is an even more recent addition, added in 1994 and designed by Stuart Birdsall.

Tewkesbury Abbey, Gloucestershire. Photo by SacredDestinations

The unusual form of an openwork canopy surrounding the pyx and cloth is based on a thirteenth century example in Wells Cathedral. There is some debate whether the Wells example was a pyx canopy at all.

Wells Cathedral, Somerset. Photo by archidave

SarumSleuth has a photo of the 1970s hanging pyx in a side chapel at Ripon Cathedral by Leslie Durbin. The less I say about this one the better.

Ripon Cathedral, North Yorkshire. Photo by Sarumsleuth

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Medieval History