In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Art of East Anglia

  • Introduction
  • Introductory Works
  • Metalwork
  • Floor Tiles

Medieval Studies Art of East Anglia
Nicholas Rogers
  • LAST REVIEWED: 20 October 2016
  • LAST MODIFIED: 29 August 2012
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195396584-0080


East Anglia derives its name and one of the definitions of its extent from the Anglo-Saxon kingdom that was effectively ended by the Viking invasion of 869. Within the context of medieval cultural history, it is best defined as comprising the dioceses of Norwich and Ely, effectively the same as the pre-1974 counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire. However, there are cultural links across administrative boundaries. The churches of the Stour valley have to be considered as a group, whether situated in Suffolk or Essex. Similarly, there are links between manuscripts produced at Ely and Thorney and those emanating from Fenland monasteries beyond Cambridgeshire.

Introductory Works

An excellent introduction to the late-medieval art of the region, although some of its details have been modified by subsequent research, is provided by the catalogue of a major exhibition at the Castle Museum: Lasko and Morgan 1974. M. R. James, whose scholarly activity was rooted in East Anglia, provides a lively introduction to the counties of Suffolk and Norfolk in James 1987.

  • James, M. R. Suffolk and Norfolk: A Perambulation of the Two Counties with Notices of Their History and Their Ancient Buildings. Bury St. Edmunds, UK: Alastair, 1987.

    Originally published in 1930 (London: J. M. Dent). Intended for the general reader, James’s scholarship makes this book a very useful source of information about churches and their fittings, particularly the iconography of wall paintings, screens, and stained glass, with several references to lost art.

  • Lasko, Peter, and N. J. Morgan, eds. Medieval Art in East Anglia, 1300–1520. London: Thames and Hudson, 1974.

    Originally published in 1973 (Norwich, UK: Jarrold). The perceptive entries in this exhibition catalogue provide the best introduction to the range of art in late-medieval East Anglia.

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