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Pall moves to abbey

Pall moves to abbey

A pall made from medieval material believed to have been from a ceremonial cloak worn by the last abbot of Glastonbury has been donated to the abbey.

The pall, a cloth to cover a coffin, was made in the late 18th century from the cloak, officially called a cope, worn by the clergy.

Janet Bell, abbey director and curator, said: "We are thrilled to receive this beautiful and significant item. It is embroidered with coloured silks and metal thread on silk velvet and is dated to the late 15th or early 16th century. Although there is no direct evidence that it was worn by Abbot Whiting, it is extremely likely to have come from the abbey and would have been worn by the abbots of the time.

"At the same time a ‘gremial’, an apron worn by clergy over the knees during certain religious ceremonies to protect vestments from holy oil, has also been donated. This embroidered silk cloth is also dated to the late 15th or early 16th century.

"The textiles belonged previously to St John’s Church, Glastonbury, and were displayed for many years in the north transept. They have now been generously donated to the abbey by the Parochial Church Council of St John’s. The pall is now on display in the abbey museum, where light levels are being kept suitably low to protect the precious item."

Abbot Whiting was hung, drawn and quartered on Glastonbury Tor in 1539 following the dissolution of the abbey.

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Added: 29th January 2019

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