Society for Church Archaeology – Lecture: Rachel Sycamore – ‘Church Chests in Medieval Society’ – Tuesday 6 December 2022 19:00 – 20:00

Members may be interested in this forthcoming lecture by Rachael Sycamore.

The lecture is free. You may reserve a spot here.

Rachel Sycamore, a furniture maker and restorer since 1995, now specialises in furniture restoration and conservation. In 2021, she completed a Masters by Research in Archaeology at the University of Worcester, researching medieval dug-out church chests in Herefordshire and Worcestershire. Since then, she continues to record, research and conserve church chests around England.

Chests were amongst the most important and prevalent form of medieval furniture, with many surviving in parish churches today. Originally, they provided secure containers in which to store valuable church accoutrements. As part of her master’s degree, Rachel Sycamore recorded and photographed over 200 church chests throughout Herefordshire and Worcestershire. Her talk will explain the different types of church chest and discuss their construction, uses, ornament and care. She will reveal why they are significant archaeological artefacts and what they meant to the people who used and depended on them. She will also recount some of the extraordinary and amusing tales of their survival and her quests to record examples in unlikely places. As a furniture restorer and conservator, Rachel hopes to raise awareness of the importance and significance of church chests and ensure that they are cared for in a way that will preserve them for future generations.