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Model Parish Church   CHOIR STALLS AND MISERICORDS
 
 
 
 
Attention was first paid to the embellishment of the choir and chancel, the areas traditionally reserved to the clergy.  Margery Kempe (Ch. 57 & 85) achieved the unusual priviledge of entering these clerical spaces for her prayers and meditations. The seating would begin with a row of a stalls flanking the central entrance, set horizontally (north to south).  Stalls were then arranged east to west, along each side of the chancel so that the choirboys and clergy would face each other for the antiphonal performance of the office.  This is the present arrangement of the late 14th-century choir stalls at St. Peterís in Walpole St. Peters and at St. Margaretís in Kings Lynn.  The carved arms and misericords (edges of seats that when turned up would support someone standing) have long fascinated later observers.  The seemingly marginalized images have been connected to their placements, designed to receive posteriors and elbows, and have been compared to the imaginative hybrid creatures, morality tales, and satires found in the marginalia (bas-de-pages) of contemporary manuscripts.  The subjects were immensely varied - images of martyrdom, a reigning bishop, and a prince royal, are as easily to be found as mythical beasts, masked performers, and common folk at work. (See Christina Grossinger, The World Upside-down: English Misericords (London: Harvey Miller, 1997) and G. L. Remnant, A Catalogue of Misericords in Great Britain (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969)