Discovering Stencilling, a talk by Paul Humphreys - Preston Park
Find out more about the history of stencilling and the planned conservation work at St Peter's Church
St Peter's will play host to a talk by Paul Humphreys, Chairman of Hare and Humphreys, who specialise in the conservation of historic buildings and their interiors. Their projects include Windsor castle, St Pancras Hotel and the Royal Barge, Gloriana. Hare and Humphreys are soon to carry out conservation work on the wall paintings at St Peter’s as part of a Heritage Lottery Fund project, overseen by The Friends of St Peter’s.
The Edwardian stencilling at St Peter's dates from 1906 following destruction of the original scheme in a fire. The work was designed and overseen by Phillip Mainwaring Johnston, also architect to Chichester Cathedral, who is known for his restoration work in a number of south-coast churches. The work was paid for by the Stanford Family, the owners of Preston Manor, which sits next to the church.
The stencilling on the walls and ceiling of the chancel is an elaborate scheme of medieval designs and motifs, with heraldic devices. A recurring motif are the keys of St Peter. But after more than a century the original impact of the design, which is said to be striking, has been dulled by dust, grime and candle smoke.
Paul will explain the planned restoration project at St Peter's and talk more generally about stencilling, its history and the styles, motifs and methods employed.