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Harborough Museum

15th century Roof Bosses

15th century Roof Bosses

Dating from the 15th century, the large oak twin-figured roof bosses are decorative carvings from the beams of St Dionysius’ Church in Market Harborough.

They depict six individuals including five angels and one monstrous figure representing the Devil.

In 1953, the church’s old nave roof had to be replaced due to extensive damage from the death-watch beetle. These bosses were rescued in the process. There are seven in total: three are at Harborough Museum and the rest are in the care of Leicestershire County Council.

One of the bosses is the only known depiction of an angel wearing a medieval woman’s headdress. From the figures’ clothing and hair styles, they most likely date from between 1470 and 1480.

For more detailed information, see F.A. Greenhill’s Wood-Carvings from the Nave Roof of Market Harborough Parish Church, available on the ‘Market Harborough’ shelves of the Local Studies section.

Dating from the 15th century, the large oak twin-figured roof bosses are decorative carvings from the beams of St Dionysius’ Church in Market Harborough.
The roof bosses, as they appear in Harborough Museum by the local studies section.

Church of St Dionysius

The Church of St Dionysius, which is in the centre of Market Harborough, is visible from around much of the town, with its distinctive spire. It is possible to hear the ringing of the bells throughout the day, marking every quarter of an hour.

Originally the church was built in the 13th century as a chapel to St Mary in Arden, a now-ruined church near Market Harborough railway station. This is why St Dionysius has no churchyard.

It is an architecturally significant building in Market Harborough and is Grade I listed, partly due to its age. Significant features include a coat of Royal Arms from 1660 and in 1959 fragments of a medieval wall painting were found.

A postcard of 'Old Market Harborough' including the Old Grammar School and the church of St Dionysius
A postcard of ‘Market Harborough in the Old Coaching Days’ including the Old Grammar School and the church of St Dionysius

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Wednesday-Friday: 10am-12.30pm, 2pm-4pm

Saturday: 10am-3.30pm

Sunday-Tuesday: Closed

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Tel: 0116 305 3627

Address: The Symington Building, Adam and Eve Street, Market Harborough, LE16 7LT

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