‘THE HANGINGS ABOUT THE HALL’: An Overview of Textile Wall Hangings in Late Medieval York, 1394-1505

‘THE HANGINGS ABOUT THE HALL’: An Overview of Textile Wall Hangings in Late Medieval York, 1394-1505

Kightly, Charles

Medieval Textiles, Issue 28, June (2001)


This brief survey attempts to answer some of the questions I have been asked about wall hangings in late medieval York houses: who owned them; which rooms were they used in; how were they hung; what were they made of, what did they look like, and how much did they cost? It deals essentially with the fifteenth century, and draws mainly on three collections of York manuscript archives: the Dean and Chapter Wills in York Minster Library [A in text references], and the Dean and Chapter Inventories [B] and the Diocesan Will Registers [C] in the Borthwick Institute of Historical Research. Its concern is domestic wall-hangings and -where these formed part of a ‘room-set’ – related textile accessories like ‘bankers’ (seat covers) and cushions: domestic bed- hangings and hangings in churches are excluded. Even within its remit, moreover, the survey does not claim to be comprehensive.

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