Priest Hole


“Priest Hole”. Expressive abstract figure in a chaos of color and cover. 14″ x 18″, acrylic on canvas board. Unframed (shown here in a sample frame).

Curious about the title? In medieval England, when feuds were violent and justice swift and brutal, it was common for castles and mansions to have secret chambers that allowed the owners to hide or escape from pursuers in the event of a surprise attack. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, the number of such hiding places increased sharply. Catholic priests were forbidden from entering England, and anyone found giving shelter to them was severely punished. A network of informers, spies and priest hunters helped track down Catholic priests, and arrested priests were imprisoned, or tortured and hanged. Hiding places known as “priest holes” were built in these houses where the priest could slip into in case of emergency. Swipe to see examples of these hiding places.

Throughout history, millions upon millions have died in the name of religion. It is important for all of us to be reminded of its cult-like hold over the frail human psyche so that we don’t fall prey to thought control.


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