b'St Ediths Mosaic FloorMike PrattI n the previousgenerally known, article, the Rev.perhaps, is that Eldridges referenceit was delivered to the mosaic floorin prefabricated in Bishop Wiltonsections rather than Church is interesting.being constructed He says it is a copyon the spot from of the floor in theindividual pieces (or Vatican that wastesserae).taken from theThe Imperial Palace ofmanufacturing the Caesars. Isprocess from the late Eldridge suggesting,1800s is described I wonder, that thehere:floor in the VaticanSalviati . devised is a Roman mosaica modern and less that has been movedexpensive process from its original sitefor fabrication into the Vatican? and installation Leaving that pointof mosaics. aside we can say with some certainty that St EdithsTraditionally, the mosaicist would draw the design mosaic floor is a copy (or a copy of a copy) of aonto a mortared surface and apply the tesserae, piece Roman original dating from around c150AD. Thatby piece, directly onto the wall or floor. Not only was would mean that the village ofBishop Wilton has twothis time consuming, it required that all materials be extant copies of Roman mosaics (see Bulletin No. 17available at each job site. At the Salviati studios, the for information about the 2nd one). artist created watercolour renderings which were Proof of the connection with the Vatican wassubmitted to the client. Upon approval, life-sized obtained by Mr & Mrs R. W. Sefton, residents ofcartoons were developed from which tracings (reverse Bishop Wilton, in a photograph they took whilst oncopies) were made. These copies were cut into holiday; a photograph that is on show in St Edithscarefully coded sections and distributed to the trained church and reproduced here. mosaicists who, in turn, would glue the coloured The accepted story about the mosaic floortesserae in place, face down, on paper sheets.in Bishop Wilton Church is that it was made byOnce completed, the sections could be laid out for Salviati & Co of Italy and installed by Italian workers.final examination by the artist before final crating and Not documented but recounted by Father Jamesshipment; but only the back side of the mosaic (and Finnemore, the Rector of St Ediths, is that the mosaicreverse image) would be visible. When the sheets are was transported from Italy, delivered to Fangfossfinally installed on the job the paper is removed, one station and brought by cart to the village. What is notcan then see the finished mosaic for the first time. 11http://www.stanford.edu/group/religiouslife/memchuHistory.htmlextracted from an article by Joseph A.Taylor of the Tile Heritage Foundation. The Rush PlantationH aving often wondered why The Rush above thethrough the chalk and when it reaches the clay it village was called that, I noticed recently on a mapis forced to the surface. The springs create wet that there are a couple of other similar plantations inareas where it is common for rushes to grow. A the area also called The Rush. I raised this with angood example of this is the area we call The Cliff expert on the local ecology, Richard Fuller, and thiswhich is the field with the Minster Way running was his response: through it on the left a few hundred metres out There are a number of springs which emergeof BW on the Pocklington road. There are quite on the slopes above Bishop Wilton. This isa few boggy areas in The Rush which are now because the chalk over-runs a clay seam thatobscured by the trees.runs out onto the Vale of York. Rain water soaks BULLETIN 19 371'