Church kneelers at

Wadham College

Oxford, Oxfordshire

These 17th century kneelers may be the oldest in the country.

The blue kneeler with the initials IR is in honour of King James VI & I who supported the Foundress, Dorothy Wadham, in her efforts to acquire a site for the new college.  The initials stand for Iacobus Rex.  The double rose and the lions reflect King James’s Tudor inheritance.  The engaging little birds are purely decorative.

The pink kneeler is in honour of the Founders, Nicholas and Dorothy Wadham.  The white flowers are taken from the Wadham family’s coat of arms.  The background was once black, but the colour was made from soot which erodes wool.

Copyright: Warden and Fellows, Wadham College.

Photographs: Julia Banfield