The Lacock Cup


For 400 years the Lacock Cup had been used as a chalice at a Wiltshire church. But it was once the centrepiece of the high table of a rich local nobleman.

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ISBN: 9780714150819 Category:

Lloyd de Beer, Naomi Speakman


The Lacock Cup is a rare object with a unique English history. Made in the 1430s, it is one of a handful of pieces of secular silver from the Middle Ages, which both survived the changing culture of Tudor fashion and the turmoil of the Reformation. Originally created as a drinking cup for feasting in the fifteenth century, the Cup later became a sacred chalice for the community of Lacock in Wiltshire at the parish church of Saint Cyriac. With an unbroken local heritage of over 400 years, this piece was a central feature of religious ceremony until the late twentieth century. The remarkable story of this special cup is brought to life in this short and accessible book. Its history, from drinking vessel to holy chalice, opens a window into the culture of late medieval England and having survived the centuries in near perfect condition, it acts as a witness to these times of great change. Charting the journey of the Cup, from fifteenth century medieval society, through the Reformation and later Civil War to the present day, this book will also explore the Cup’s role as a communion vessel in its local setting of Lacock, and its treatment at the British Museum where it has been on loan since 1962. The Cup remained in irregular use by the parish until the 1980s, and this story of over 500 years of outstanding care and use provides a fitting conclusion to one of England’s most important silver objects.

Additional information

Weight 178 g
Dimensions 14.9 x 21 cm
Publisher name The British Museum Press
Publication date 13 October 2014
Number of pages 64
Format Paperback / softback
Dimensions 14.9 x 21 cm
Weight 178 g


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