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Medieval Wall Painting
in the
English Parish Church

Links, Finding Locations, Miscellaneous

Online Resources

ORB: The Online Resource Book for Medieval Studies – Everyone interested in the Middle Ages should know about ORB. A very rich resource.

The Medieval Sourcebook: The Golden Legend of Jacobus de Voragine – Now has, along with much else, William Caxton’s English version of the Legend – essential.

The Internet Biblia Pauperum – An early text-and-pictures work vital to an understanding of medieval iconography and interpretation of the Scriptures. There are many versions, and this one is based on an English block-book from the 14th century. Excellent and highly recommended.

The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew – Source for many legends and stories about the Infancies of Christ and of the Virgin Mary.

The York Doomsday Project

The Web Gallery of Art – Very good, searchable, images site. Images from all parts of Europe from all periods

The Morgan Library and Museum – Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts – Searchable by subject, period, etc.

Keyholder App (Android) – The Keyholder app displays information for tourists and other visitors to Church of England and Church in Wales churches, allow users to make comments, and also add photographs, both to Keyholder and to Twitter.

Anglo-Saxon churches in England – A growing site with excellent photographs

Dr. Ellie Pridgeon’s web-blog on the subject. – Entirely reliable, and good on paintings in Wiltshire and Gloucestershire in particular. There is also information here on forthcoming events led by Dr. Pridgeon and others in the medieval wall paintings community.

Monumental Brass Society

Relevant Regional Websites

Churches in Suffolk and Norfolk – Many good photographs.

Websites of or about Individual Churches

Hailes church, Gloucestershire – St Catherine, one of many fine paintings at Hailes. Follow the link to see them on the Sacred Destinations website.

Wall painting of the Martyrdom of Thomas Becket, Preston Park church, Brighton Other paintings here include a Weighing of Souls, and a faded Nativity.

A very rare Dormition of the Virgin, and other paintings at Purton, Wiltshire.

Hardham Church, Sussex – A long article from 1901 describing the wall paintings.

Wallpaintings in Continental Europe

La peinture murale du XIIéme au XVIIéme siécle en France et ailleurs – For paintings in France and neighbouring countries. Excellent photographs, and English translation.

La mort dans l’art (Death in Art) – A thematic site on this subject from the Middle Ages on, including Continental examples of the Three Living and the Three Dead. In French, with a good English translation.

The murder of Thomas Becket – A painting or paintings uncovered in the church of St Nicholas in Soria, Spain and thought to have been commissioned in expiation of the murder by Henry II’s daughter Eleanor, who married Alfonso VIII of Spain. Conservation/restoration is currently being discussed.

The medieval parish church of Pest – Some beautifully preserved paintings from the church of Pest in Hungary, including a very rare glimpse of St Veronica’s veil.

Finding the Churches

Google Maps is ubiquitous and works as a website or an app.

Bing Maps is sometimes a better option, and has the advantage of having an Ordnance Survey option for the map view (desktop only).

StreetMap is another alternative.

Access: Some churches are always open, some always locked, and some open for part of the day/week/year. Locked churches will hopefully have a notice somewhere telling visitors where to find a keyholder nearby. Failing that, local people are usually anxious to help, and a little persistence should yield results. If you can consult the relevant Diocescan Year Book in advance for access details, so much the better. The Keyholder App is also worth trying, but it’s not free. Crockford’s Clerical Directory is another resource, but remember that Vicars/Rectors/Parish teams are often out or very busy. (They and their churches are also usually very short of money as well, so do remember this if you visit, and be generous.)