Click to go  to 
the Church Diagram

Click to go to 
 the Church View
This site takes visitors on a tour of a 15th-century parish church as Margery Kempe might have seen it.  Through her Book she identifies dozens of churches, many still extant, by name.  Always attentive to the implications of locations, she also frequently mentions the precise part of a church in which in which an experience took place - the chancel, a particular chapel, the high altar, etc.  One might say that Kempe maps her life onto the floorplan of the church. Click here for general study topics and seminar projects that examine Kempe and the material culture of the parish. 

Although many English parish churches in Norfolk and Suffolk counties retained considerable medieval integrity, all have suffered from destruction over the years, the most evident loss being wall paintings and original stained glass. St. Margaret's in King's Lynn, for example, has been radically altered from the time of Margery Kempe- the entire nave now dates from the 18th century, the transepts have been shortened, the altar redesigned, subsidiary chapels suppressed, and the cloisters and chapter house destroyed. 
The drawing and floorplan on the following page allow you to click on architectural elements typically found in a period structure and see photographic examples from different East Anglian churches. The three-dimensional diagram creates a composite experience drawn from many examples of late medieval parish churches. Spatial divisions are evident on the plan, for example, the nave, were the laity worshipped, and the chancel, the space for clerical performance. Interior furnishings such as the rood screen, tombs, baptismal font, and altars, are also indicated. The site can be explored by clicking on the markers, which will bring the viewer to photographed examples of sites and objects found in the parish church before the Reformation. This approach attempts to parallel the actual experience of a visit. The viewer becomes familiar with the general configuration of the building, then looks closer to study a specific detail. Once the visual image is understood, the viewer can make further inquiries by clicking on the screen to either see a section in further detail or to receive an explanation of its subject matter, structure, or context. 

This site offers a virtual tour of an imaginary, but typical 15th century East Anglian parish church. Our composite church, attempts to give the viewer a sense of the essential elements which make up a parish church of the period.