Biddenden cake cast, Biddenden, Kent, England, 1801-1900

Made:
1801-1900 in Biddenden
maker:
Unknown
Group shot of A650878 - Broadsheet describing Biddenden maids, paper, English, 19th century, A650879 - Biddenden cake,

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Group shot of A650878 - Broadsheet describing Biddenden maids, paper, English, 19th century, A650879 - Biddenden cake,
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Biddenden cake, English, 19th century

The Biddenden maids, Elisa and Mary Chulkhurst (1100-1134) were conjoined twins named after their home town of Biddenden, in Kent, England. They lived for 34 years joined at their hips and shoulders until they died, six hours apart. The twins are said to have left land to the Church, the rental income from which was to be used to purchase food for the poor to be distributed on Easter Sunday. Souvenir cakes made from plaster and bearing their image were also distributed. Today, cakes are distributed to the elderly on Easter Monday.

Details

Category:
Ethnography and Folk Medicine
Object Number:
A650880
Materials:
cotton (textile) and organic material (bread)
type:
souvenir
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication
  • sculpture
credit:
Glendining