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Historic Chalice on Display

by glynch — last modified 13 Jan, 2015 04:40 PM

16th Century Corsley Chalice joins more famous Lacock Cup in Salisbury Museum Display

The famous 15th Century Lacock Cup hit the headlines this week, as it was announced the £1.3m medieval drinking vessel will return to Wiltshire later this month at the start of a national tour. Normally on permanent display in London, the silver cup be on show in the Salisbury Museum from 31 January until 4 May. 

The less well known, but impressive 16th century Corsley Chalice will be joining it on display at Salisbury Museum. Parishioners in Corsley and Chapmanslade are particularly delighted as the Chalice, with its accompanying paten, or plate, is normally kept under lock and key in Salisbury Cathedral and rarely sees the light of day. 

On special occasions, for example the licensing of a new incumbent, it is sometimes brought back to Corsley and used in services. The Revd Pauline Reid's licensing as priest in charge of the Cley Hill Villages Benefice in October 2014 was the last time the chalice was used in the village. 

Not a great deal is known about the chalice and paten. In 1553 the Crown Commissioners took 20 oz of silver for the king from Corsley (then a common practice when the monarch was short of money!) and left only 7 1/2 ozs. Of the plate they left, a silver-gilt paten of c 1510 still remains. The chalice which they left was remodelled in the 1570s. As far as is known, the chalice and plate have never been valued; certainly the parish has no intention of selling. 

Phil Jefferson, a Corsley and Chapmanslade church member, said villagers were delighted that the decision had been chosen to display the chalice alongside its Lacock cousin. 

“We appreciate our chalice is not as well known or indeed as valuable as the Lacock Cup”, said Paul, “but we are very proud of this part of our heritage and we thank Salisbury Museum for making it available to be seen by the public throught the Spring.”

The Revd Pauline Reid, Priest-in Charge, added, “I feel very privileged to have used the cup for the purpose it was intended on the Sunday after the service, it was an extraordinary feeling to administer communion with something that held such meaning for the parish and connected us to past communicants in such a profound way. A real joy.”

Find out details of visiting times and other exhibits on the Salisbury Museum website.

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