Skip to Content

Medieval Wall Painting
in the
English Parish Church

Thurton, Norfolk (†Norwich) C.14

St Christopher

St Christopher, Thurton, complete

This St Christopher is obviously deeply unsatisfactory in its present condition, but I include it here in the interests of comprehensiveness, and there are some smaller photographs below which should help to make out details – and it is the details that interest lies here. The saint himself has almost disappeared, but the Christ child on his shoulders has an elaborate diadem and carries the orb of the world. The general outlines of these details, and of Christopher’s halo below them, should be discernible in the small photograph. The hermit with his lantern may be here as well, along with a stylized tree at the top left, but he is almost impossible to make out against the background.

St Christopher, Thurton, detail, Christ Child Crab, lobster and fish around st. christopher

Lower down, things are a little clearer. The lower half of Christopher’s staff should be visible on the right of the large picture, and below and around it, various marine life swims – including a crab towards the centre, and a little lower down and further right, a fine lobster. These, the crustaceans for which this part of the Norfolk coast (Thurton is very close to the sea) is famous, were obviously drawn from life by a fine artist who was very familiar with their anatomy, which makes it all the more regrettable that the central part of the painting has virtually disappeared.

Incidentally, Thurton is not to be confused with nearby Thurlton, which also has a painting of St Christopher (with some impressive dolphins). The same painter? More than likely, I think.

† in page heading = Diocese