The Original Belvoir Angel

A faux-tale of the origin of the Belvoir Angel.

The Belvoir Angel is a motif carved into headstones during the late 1600’s and early 1700’s and considered unique to the Vale of Belvoir and Framland area (East Midlands UK) .

The mystery of who developed the first Belvoir Angel designs will most likely never be solved and perhaps that is part of the motif’s charm. Having been to the Festival of Quilts 2018 featuring the 1718 Patchwork Coverlet (in silk) and being totally captivated by the mystery of that maker too I decided to combine these two interests.

I aged some silk scraps with tea and coffee soaks, created an applique pattern from my Belvoir Angel sketches and made “The Original Belvoir Angel” complete with a tale about it’s discovery. The only problem was that people got very excited believing it was real during the exhibition and I had to explain it was a faux tale.

“In 1946 my grandmother inherited her maiden aunt’s precious linens. When she opened them out to air she found carefully folded in the centre an old, faded piece of silk patchwork. She didn’t really think much of it until I discovered it one day as a child at the bottom of a drawer.
I was enthralled by it and made up stories about where it had come from and what it was for, little realising the truth was much more exciting than my imagination. Only now, in my 50’s can I confirm what years of research has revealed.
 The patchwork is believed to date from the 1670’s, made by a long passed ancestor who was mother to two sons. As grown men they became stone masons, working in Leicestershire. We are convinced that this is in fact the very first example of the design that is now known as the Belvoir Angel.”