the Material Girls

Henry Chichele Timeline in fabric and thread

Created by The Material Girls, Higham Ferrers Library Sewing Group

The Timeline is the work of eight women: Fay, Lynne, Jean, Sandy, Sue, Sally, Lois and Susan. Originally intended for the Library before its proposed closure, the banner and four panels have found a fitting home in the Bede House. Two of the panels were unveiled on Charter Celebration Day, 29 June 2019.

completed, framed and hanging in the Bede House

The framing of the panels has been sponsored by the Friends of St. Mary’s.

The group are delighted that their work has been preserved for posterity and freely enjoyed by the community and visitors to the Town.

Introductory Banner

This bears Henry Chichele’s coat of arms; it is still used by All Souls College, Oxford.

As Archbishop of Canterbury, Henry was present at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415.

Shakespeare gives him speeches in his play, Henry V. The castle is representative of the time.

Panel One

This features William de Wykeham, (Bishop of Winchester and Lord Chancellor) riding to Chichele’s house at 67 High Street. The design opens into a domestic interior and then the St. Mary’s Church Chichele window with an icon of Mary.

Panel Two

A representation of Chichele’s travels in Europe as an eminent lawyer and diplomatic envoy for Henry IV. To the left, the white cliffs of Dover and two ships. The seascape turns into Venetian waters replete with gondolas and the Rialto Bridge. The leaning Tower of Pisa completes the landscape.

Panel Three

This contains the significant buildings in Chichele’s life:

  • Top row: Winchester College, Canterbury Cathedral, Chichele College, Bede House

  • Bottom row: New College, Oxford; St. David’s Cathedral; Chantry Chapel, Higham Ferrers; portrait of Archbishop Chichele with heraldic crests; All Soul’s College, Oxford; detail of the door at All Soul’s College; the Bedesmen and Bedeswoman.

Panel Four

Chichele’s tomb in Canterbury Cathedral. He was the Archbishop of Canterbury for 28 years, one of the longest serving.