A curious statue of the Madonna

The curious statue in Wilmington Church
The curious statue in Wilmington Church

This curious statue can be found in Wilmington Church. It was once obscured by limewash but this was removed in 2004.

The removal, according to the Sussex Archaeological Soiciety, revealed a staue of the Virgin and Child, in which Mary’s right arm is held across her body with her right hand supporting the Christ Child who squats on her left thigh.

The curious drapery is typical of the 11th century and the heavy face and startled expression seem to have echoes of 12th century Isle of Lewis walrus-ivory chess pieces.