Avebury Bellarmine Jug Fragment

Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site

Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site

A fragment of a commonly used seventeenth century drinking vessel found at Avebury, depicts Catholic cardinal Roberto Bellarmine (1542–1621).The demonised features on Bellarmine jugs served as a popularised talisman of Protestant England’s passionate rejection of Rome. The theme serves to remind us that the name adopted for Avebury’s inn was the Catherine Wheel, an unpleasant celebration of the instrument of torture of Roman Catholics. William Stukeley (1695-1765) borrowed the demonised caricature of these jugs, fusing it with Anglican watchfulness to cast a local Nonconformist speculator, Thomas Robinson, as Avebury’s Herostratus – the destroyer of the Temple. Where Stukeley’s eighteenth century heritage protection scheme relied on division, the World Heritage Site now promotes harmonious unity. Caption: Brian Edwards

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  • Title: Avebury Bellarmine Jug Fragment
  • Location: Alexander Keiller Museum


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