Explore a beautiful world hidden in plain sight...

wallpaintings project introduction video by Paul Binski - better quality When you walk into our churches you encounter a simple and serene interior, with sunlight falling through clear glass windows across plain limewashed walls.

In our estate of 341 churches, over 80 of them have wallpaintings of some description making us one of the country's most significant keepers of nationally important wallpaintings. Our collection spans the entire breadth of styles and ages since the first paint stroke – from the 12th to the 19th centuries.

In 2010 we started to develop a new and exciting project that would bring to the fore our breathtaking wallpaintings.

Over the past year we have worked to bring to life: the history and development of wallpaintings, the conservation techniques and challenges and the meaning behind wallpaintings... but the most exciting and vital aspect of this project was to make the information accessible, interesting and visually alluring to everyone.

The sense of calm and light in our churches is a far cry from how the original Medieval church would have appeared: paintings would have covered most of the walls and architectural surfaces, lifelike painted statues would have stood in polychromed niches and the whole space would have been bathed in the flickering coloured light falling through the stained-glass windows. Rather than appearing light and airy, the space would have appeared dark and mysterious.

Here you will learn the true meaning of wallpaintings and discover a beautiful world hidden in plain sight.

Find out what inspired us

Our wallpaintings

Close up of wallpainting detail at CapelIn our estate of 340 churches, over 80 of them have wallpaintings of some description from the 12th to the 19th centuries. We have picked 24 of them for your pleasure and education.

Discover the wallpaintings in our churches

Hidden meanings

Close up of Warning to Swearers at St Lawrence's churchThere is more to what we can see on the walls of our churches. These visual stories and teachings are filled with meaning and here we break it down for you to fully appreciate.

Learn more about schemes

Paintings & the past

Close up of detail at All Saints church, CambridgeWallpaintings have built up over 1000 years of political, artistic and social history. Here we tell you about changes and influences that have been put upon wallpaintings and why.

View the timeline & learn the history

Protect & conserve

Students studying the wallpaintings at Inglesham churchIt is important to protect these paintings as works of art, but also as a last link to the way of life in a Medieval church.

Find out about wallpainting conservation