Thursday, 22 October 2009

Layer upon layer of ...


East Shefford, Berkshire, originally uploaded by Vitrearum.

medieval wallpaintings. The tiny church of East Shefford in Berkshire, now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust has some fascinating wallpaintings in the nave. The east wall of the nave around the thirteenth century chancel arch, has two distinct phases of wallpaintings. The chancel arch cuts through a striking Adoration of the Magi dating from c.1100 which was originally painted around an earlier narrower arch. In the later Middle Ages these early paintings would have been covered by the rood screen and loft, the position of which can easily worked out by gaps in the paintwork. Above where the rood loft would have been, are a series of 15th century paintings which formed a backdrop for the rood and rood beam. The shadow of the lost rood beam is clearly shown and the lost rood group (which was quite small and presumably of wood) is outlined in red paint. Around that are three bold sacred monograms. O wonderful sequence of paintings they are and of course never seen together until they were all uncovered in the nineteenth century.

East Shefford, Berkshire

The chancel at East Shefford is also rather interesting too. The floor has been relaid with replica tiles, based on one or surviving medieval examples and there are other interesting features which will have to wait for another post.
East Shefford, Berkshire

2 comments:

Canon Tallis said...

I loved the tile floor, but I wish they had done more to give it the true look of a church of its period. It needs a reredos and a frontal for what they are using as an altar at the very least.

Allan Barton said...

I couldn't agree more, it would look very well with a frontal and perhaps a textile dorsal. Typical Churches Conservation Trust, they tend to strip out any old textiles from churches in their care.