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Medieval Wall Painting
in the
English Parish Church

Flamstead, Hertfordshire (†St Albans) C.14

Passion Cycle

This is the Passion Cycle on the North Aisle wall at Flamstead in its entirety, and in a newly digitzed photograph. Most of the others are very faint, but a couple of details are newly here below, and I will include some of the others here in due course.

Passion Cycle, Flamstead, detail, Crucifixion, Last Supper above

Shown above is the Crucifixion, a very dramatically-realised scene in which Christ’s body is thrust forward towards the onlooker. Faint traces of figures of Mary and John are visible on either side, and even traces of Longinus spearing his side can be made out. Above the Crucifixion is a faint but identifiable Last Supper. A few details of individual scenes from the Cycle are now below.

Arrest in Gethsemane, Flamstead

Here is another very old, non-digital and thoroughly unsatisfactory photograph from the Flamstead Passion Cycle. It will have to suffice until I can get back to the church. This, at the right, is the Arrest in Gethsemane, and one or two salient details can be made out. Peter is the figure at the left, sword drawn to defend his master, who is the bearded figure in a red robe in the centre. Malchus, the High Priest’s servant whose ear Peter cut off, has already fallen, and slants across the picture near the lower edge, but he is admittedly rather difficult to see. Beyond to the right of the photograph stand two soldiers, one wearing a tunic skirt with horizontal stripes.

Flamstead had an extensive painted scheme once, including a painting of the Three Living and the Three Dead, and bands of decorative abstract pattern where subject painting was difficult, for example on the underside of the nave arches. There is also a Doom, some of which I may be may be able to include in these pages, over the chancel arch Parishioners added their own decoration too – there is a very competent incised ‘scratching’ of a medieval ship on a pillar in the South Aisle.

Website for St Leonard’s church, Flamstead