Turning the pages of the Wollaton Antiphonal

The Wollaton Antiphonal - an introduction

An illuminated initial
An illuminated initial
The Wollaton Antiphonal is an extremely rare example of a late medieval church service book. It is one of only two known surviving English Antiphonals decorated with illuminated miniatures as well as intricate borders. It is exceptional both for its quality and its long association with a particular parish, that of St Leonard’s, Wollaton in Nottinghamshire.

The link below offers access to 75 pages from this sumptuous manuscript.

The turning the pages technology

Turning the Pages™ is an interactive application developed as a joint initiative between the British Library and Armadillo Systems. It allows users to 'turn' pages of virtual books, zoom in on high-quality digitised images, read explanatory notes, and listen to related audio content.

Turn the Pages of the Wollaton Antiphonal. 75 pages from this sumptuous manuscript are available to browse in virtual form.


The story of the Wollaton Antiphonal

 St. Leonard's Church, Wollaton

The Wollaton Antiphonal was created in around 1430 for Sir Thomas Chaworth and his second wife Isabella de Aylesbury, probably for use in their private chapel at Wiverton Manor, Nottinghamshire. It was purchased for the church of St Leonard’s, Wollaton, Nottinghamshire in 1460. From the time of the Reformation the manuscript was housed in Wollaton Hall but was returned by the 10th Baron Middleton to the parish church in 1924.

In 1974 the Parochial Church Council placed it in the care of The University of Nottingham, to ensure its preservation and to enable wider access. During the last ten years the Antiphonal has been the subject of a series of conservation, research and digitisation projects. 

 An initial from the Wollaton

This virtual publication of key pages from the Wollaton Antiphonal has been supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, through funding awarded to Professor Thorlac Turville-Petre from the School of English.

The continuing significance of the Antiphonal in the parish of Wollaton has been central to the project. A kiosk in St Leonard’s provides access to the Turning the Pages resource, and the project has been developed in collaboration with the Parochial Church Council and the Rector, Rev Jerry Lepine. Members of the church choir became directly involved, under the direction of the choir master Peter Price, and selections of their performance of plain chant have been included on several pages.

Further information about the Wollaton Antiphonal is available here.


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