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But its magnificent library was dispersed, with many items now to be found in Cambridge colleges.“There is no evidence that [this]happened to the Psalter.And because we know exactly where the choir stall for the sub-prior was, we know the psalter must have been kept there – right underneath where the spire came crashing through.That may well account for water damage on the psalter, which was repaired and re-bound. The psalter was put together in at least four phases – or ‘campaigns’ – over many years, with at least two interruptions.And the Ormesby Psalter is even better than that one.Never mind one top-of-the-range Ferrari – you could buy the whole showroom.Robert was sub-prior of the religious house, third in its pecking order. He was sometime a prior at Hoxne – a daughter ‘cell’ of Norwich – and was the second son of a prosperous Norfolk family. Because he donated the psalter to his successor sub-priors, though, Freddie has discovered it could well link in to one of the cathedral’s biggest disasters.
Their individual styles are very distinctive – remember those weird creatures?A lower border with a knight fighting a multi-headed dragon... This type of quirky detail is typical of the East Anglia creators of this beautiful book. Look closely at the startlingly vivid colours of this medieval wonder - one of the greatest treasures of the Bodleian Library in Oxford – and you’ll see something decidedly rum going on. But in the case of the Ormesby Psalter, it’s the wonder that’s to be found there instead.But analysing the heraldry in the illustration of the Jesse Tree, the wonder-of-wonders that leads into Psalm 1, has enabled her to establish that one of the campaigns must have been at the behest of John de Warenne, earl of Surrey, to mark the betrothal of his ward Richard Foliot of Gressenhall to an (unnamed) member of that famous Norfolk family the Bardolfs. The remains of one of his strongholds, Castle Acre castle, show the ambition of this powerful aristocrat.His part in the Psalter story can be dated to around 1316-1338. As for the artists who illuminated the manuscript, we know none of their names.