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Medieval Wall Painting
in the
English Parish Church

Banningham, Norfolk (†Norwich) earlier C.15

St George and the Dragon

St George & Dragon, Banningham

An incomplete, but spirited version of the subject which seems to have gone completely unrecorded until now. St George’s head has disappeared, but the rest of him, including his spear, sword (slung behind him) and rectangular shield is clear, as is the Dragon and a tree behind it. The saint’s very short tunic with scalloping detail near the lower edge may in fact be a chain-mail jupon or skirt, since he also wears genouilliéres – round armour plates protecting his knees.The rather small dragon has the usual wings and coiling tail, and there is no sign of St George’s horse.

The details of the armour, and the articulation of the figure – solid and naturalistic but still gracefully posed – suggest a fairly early 15th century date, probably in the first quarter of the century but after Agincourt in 1415.

There are other paintings in the church – a St Christopher near St George, again with only part of it remaining, and a narrative subject or Morality, hard to identify, in the north aisle.