Medieval Monsters of The Macclesfield Psalter

The longer we’re kept here the further I rummage into the Monster Archives. And the further I rummage, the more horrified I become. Check my posts on the subject of Illustrations because the proof is piling up: monsters have been trapping authors and artists in these caves for centuries.

Take The Macclesfield Psalter, a stunning illuminated manuscript believed to have been created in the year 1330. Here’s a typical page:


The thing to watch out for with illuminated manuscripts is that the real action isn’t in the text, it’s in what’s happening around it. The Macclesfield Psalter is a perfect example. Check this out, from another page:


Yep, it seems to be a picture of a bloke being menaced by some kind of flying ray creature. Why? Nobody knows. How about this dude (below) attempting to protect himself from a giant snail, while a squirrel – too scared to watch what’s about to happen – covers his eyes:


And what’s going on here (below)? Your guess is, I’m certain, /at least/ as good as mine. Feel free to leave possible captions in the comment box-!


But the dead giveaways of the truth behind all this, for me, are the following:


These specimens – above and below – are clearly the medieval relatives of the double-headed monsters I talked about here.


Ever since I got here and the bag first came off my head, this guy (below) has been strutting up and down on the edge of my pit, making triumphant little braying noises.


And as for this dude…

macclesfield2You see that funnel coming out of his nose? Well, let’s just say that whenever the monsters decide it’s time to give us something to eat, they don’t get it from McDonald’s. ;p

The identity of the artist who created the Macclesfield Psalter remains a mystery. Want to find out more? Check this special website created by The Fitzwilliam Museum where the Psalter currently resides.

But I’ll bet my dinner – and Tommy’s – that whoever the artist was, he painted these monsters from life.

My research continues. ;)

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8 Comments on "Medieval Monsters of The Macclesfield Psalter"

  1. Matt Price
    09/04/2009 at 8:17 am Permalink

    Ok, well the thing under the sheet was an author, and he really wants the jar the monkey is holding because it has beer in it. The monkey is saying “No, no beer for you” and then will down it before the author’s eyes, and because this process has been repeated constantly for an extended period of time, the deprivation of beer and taunting of having it in front of him has turned the author slowly into a monster that resembles some sort of friendly bear with a mohican, but…well…who knows what he’s hiding!

  2. Dalton lamb
    04/05/2009 at 6:47 pm Permalink

    where do most peaple see monsters? I have lots of things to ask you.

  3. Dalton lamb
    04/05/2009 at 6:48 pm Permalink


  4. Dalton lamb
    04/05/2009 at 7:06 pm Permalink


  5. Dalton lamb
    04/05/2009 at 7:07 pm Permalink

    are you thare

  6. Dalton lamb
    04/05/2009 at 7:07 pm Permalink


  7. Dalton lamb
    04/05/2009 at 7:08 pm Permalink

    Come on. Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Sam Enthoven
    05/05/2009 at 11:56 am Permalink

    Hi, Dalton!
    If you want to get in touch, the best way is via the ‘Send the Captives a Message’ button. It’s up in the top right hand corner, under ‘Menu’. Drop us a line with that, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
    All best,

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