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Philip Gawith

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http://www.hobbsgolfprints.co.uk/images/M/HG0030.jpg

It has been suggested to me that this image - the east window, or Crecy window of Gloucester cathedral - is the oldest image of a golfer, allegedly dating back to 1350. Apparently it was paid for by a knight returning from his travels "heavy with gold".

Any thoughts? Is this a well known image in golf history? First i heard of it...

Philip


Mark_Rowlinson

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Re: Gloucester Cathedral - oldest recorded image of a golfer c 1350?
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2013, 01:14:31 PM »
Philip,

I spent an hour staring at that window when I was last in Gloucester (singing Monteverdi Orfeo) and I couldn't find that image. I included a reproduction of it in my Globetrotter England and Wales book but I took it on trust. When I couldn't find it myself I began to get an unpleasant feeling. Had I been duped?

Mark.

Philip Gawith

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Re: Gloucester Cathedral - oldest recorded image of a golfer c 1350?
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2013, 01:40:47 PM »
Mark the person who alerted me saw it on a TV programme last night - so I assume it must exist!

Colin Macqueen

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Re: Gloucester Cathedral - oldest recorded image of a golfer c 1350?
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2013, 01:44:45 PM »
Philip,
I don't know about it being a well-known image in golf history but this image is mentioned by Robert Browning in "A History of Golf" in his chapter The Argument of Pictures (p.18).

"By far the oldest pictorial representation of what might conceivably be golf is to be found neither in Holland or in Flanders but in England in Gloucester Cathedral. In one of the medallions of the great stained glass east window built for Sir Thomas Bradstone between the years 1340 and 1350, in memory of his comrades who fell in the battle of Crecy, is a figure swinging some sort of club in very convincing and workmanlike style. The window has suffered a little with the passage of the centuries; the upper part of the players head and a space immediately above it are gone and have been replaced by a blank of clear glass, but the glass is otherwise intact and the swing can be examined in detail. It is true that the club bears a much closer resemblance to a modern hockey stick than to a golf club, but the player's attitude seems to be more consistent with a deliberate and controlled swing at a stationary ball than with a blow at a moving one."

He talks briefly about a more recent stained-glass window in St. Cuthbert's Church in which a saint is represented striking a ball but wryly suggests that this provides no evidence for " believing the saint to be a golfer." to which my response is that there are no grounds for believing any golfer to be a saint . Peter Pallotta notwithstanding!!

Interesting to see that a "man on the ground", Mark R., could not find the image whilst singing his head off! This search, then, should become a Holy Grail type of challenge in my opinion, a quest emulating knights of old, a chivalrous deed for the good of golf!

Cheers Colin
"Golf, thou art a gentle sprite, I owe thee much"
The Hielander

Philip Gawith

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Re: Gloucester Cathedral - oldest recorded image of a golfer c 1350?
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2013, 01:47:41 PM »
Agreed Colin - neither Gloucester nor the cathedral were on my radar, but i might now divert and make the effort! Maybe could be joined with a trip to Painswick which can't be too far away.

Mark_Rowlinson

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Re: Gloucester Cathedral - oldest recorded image of a golfer c 1350?
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2013, 01:52:21 PM »
Philip, You can see Gloucester Cathedral from the course at Painswick, but not in sufficient detail to find the golfer in the window. Mark.

Neil Regan

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Re: Gloucester Cathedral - oldest recorded image of a golfer c 1350?
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2013, 03:25:05 AM »
The Window.
I think the roundel in question can be seen 3rd row from bottom, 4th window from right.
Maybe you were looking to the left side, Mark, out of golfing habit ?


Click for High Resolution Photo of the "Golfer"

The Roundel and its neighbors from a Flickr user


And from another Flickr user



Alistair Cooke on the image, via Google Books



An hour of browsing about a 700 year old piece of colored glass.
Spring can't come soon enough.
At least the Cooke piece brought a smile.



« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 03:29:06 AM by Neil Regan »
Grass speed  <>  Green Speed

ward peyronnin

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Re: Gloucester Cathedral - oldest recorded image of a golfer c 1350?
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2013, 08:24:26 AM »
Philip

I am struck that you should be the one to call out this item.

You are GCA's knight who plays with a startlingly clear head and returns from travels "heavy with gold"

One more notch for reincarnation

BTW excellent extension on that one for no video being avail for feedback
"Golf is happiness. It's intoxication w/o the hangover; stimulation w/o the pills. It's price is high yet its rewards are richer. Some say its a boys pastime but it builds men. It cleanses the mind/rejuvenates the body. It is these things and many more for those of us who truly love it." M.Norman

Philip Gawith

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Re: Gloucester Cathedral - oldest recorded image of a golfer c 1350?
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2013, 12:06:58 PM »
I am very clean living Ward.....and your spectacles have a fine rose-coloured hue!

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