Posted on 29 April 2020
The first critical edition of The Fabric Accounts of St Stephen's Chapel, Westminster, 1292-1396 has just been published by Boydell & Brewer, edited by Professor Tim Ayers and transcribed by Dr Maureen Jurkowski. This eight-year project was funded by the Leverhulme Trust, and has run in parallel with the AHRC-funded research project on 'St Stephen's Chapel, Westminster: Visual and Political Culture, 1292-1941'.
Begun by Edward I in 1292 and finished by Edward III, the rebuilding and decoration of St Stephen's took over 60 years to complete. It was a structure of spectacular magnificence, at the heart of the Palace of Westminster, the pre-eminent centre of English royal government and ceremonial. Produced by the king's Exchequer and now in The National Archives, the fabric accounts for the chapel and the adjacent college foundation span work over a century, in great detail. They are exceptionally rich - the present edition comprises over 60 rolls, presented in two volumes over 1,500 pages - and of international importance as evidence for medieval crafts, and their materials and sources of supply. They also have a special significance for the study of English royal patronage under the Plantagenets.