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H 290 x W 205 mm

682 pages

759 illustrations, full colour throughout

Published Jan 2020

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781789693317

Digital: 9781789693324

Recommend to a librarian

Canterbury Cathedral; Cloister; Heraldry; Middle Ages; Medieval England; Richard II; Revolution of 1399; Henry IV; Religious architecture

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Great Cloister: A Lost Canterbury Tale

A History of the Canterbury Cloister, Constructed 1408-14, with Some Account of the Donors and their Coats of Arms

By Paul A. Fox

Foreword by Edward Fitzalan-Howard

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A new study of the heraldry, genealogy and history of the Canterbury Cathedral cloister, this book is the first comprehensive study of this monument ever undertaken. It provides a detailed chronology and details on the 856 heraldic shields, badges and devices, representing some 365 families, principalities, religious foundations and individuals.



Foreword by His Grace the Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshal

Explanation of shield numbers


History of the Cloister’s construction
Dating the cloister

Thomas Arundel as Archbishop of Canterbury

The Cloister as a roll of arms
The Bay of Reconciliation (Bay 30)
The Royal Bay (Bay 32)
The Arundel Family Bay (Bay 33)
Lollards in the cloister
The English Cardinals
Other bishops and monks
Religious foundations
The Archbishop’s friends
Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen
The last bay
The lost paper record of the Cloister Roll

Problems of the sources
Willement’s Three Sources
Incorrect repainting

Heraldry in the era of the Cloister
Heraldic authority
Ricardian innovations
Female arms
Cadency marks
King Henry IV

The lost shields
Bay 1
Bay 10
Bay 11
Bay 12
Bay 15
Bay 17
Bay 20
Bay 25
Bay 26
Bay 29


Alphabetical list of shields

Numerical list of shields

The shields

About the Author

Dr Paul A. Fox, FHS, FSA is a retired consultant physician, medical researcher and university lecturer. He is the honorary editor of Coat of Arms: Journal of the Heraldry Society, a former Chairman of the Heraldry Society, and an Academician of the Académie Internationale d’Héraldique.


'... this is a splendid volume allowing the history and genealogy of the Canterbury cloister and its hundreds of associated individuals and families to stand in new and radiant light. It will remain as an indispensable vade mecum for long into the future.'
'Like the enterprises of the early antiquarians, this book will doubtless stand the test of time; it will be consulted by scholars for generations to come.'
'This book will prove a valuable reference for those interested in the Cloister.'
' indispensable source of reference, not just for those interested in the Great Cloister and its history, but for all seeking information on English heraldry and genealogy of the early 15th century. Fittingly, the volume well merits its gracious Foreword by the Duke of Norfolk, who, as Earl Marshal, has oversight of the College of Arms.'