Roods themselves, usually of wood but sometimes of stone, consisted of a carving of Christ crucified on the Cross, often flanked by figures of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St John on either side. The two figures and Crucifixion were occasionally supported on a base carved with rocks and skulls to represent Golgotha (a unique example survives in the Church of St Andrew, Cullompton, Devon).
Timber screens (of which many survive, especially in Devon) are often richly decorated with tracery, painted panels (excellent examples can be found in St Edmund's Church, Southwold, Suffolk), and enrichment, the loft or gallery supported on a coved vaulted structure projecting over the screen proper. Most surviving English Rood-screens are C15 or C16 in date, though many were erected during the Gothic Revival, some of the most beautiful by Bodley, Comper, and A. W. N. Pugin.
Bond & and Camm (1909);
J. Parker (1850);
Jane Turner (1996);
rood / roōd/ • n. 1. a crucifix, esp. one positioned above the rood screen of a church or on a beam over the entrance to the chancel. 2. chiefly Brit., hist. a measure of land area equal to a quarter of an acre.
A. cross, spec. that on which Jesus Christ suffered (Holy Rood); crucifix (as on a rood loft or screen);
B. (now local) rod, pole, or perch OE.; superficial measure, 40 square poles. XV. In sense A, OE. rōd = OS. rōda; in the sense of ROD (only in OE. seglrōd sailyard), the Continental forms are OS. rōda, MDu. ro(o)de (also mod. roede), OHG. ruota (G. rute).