Wallpaintings revealed at Saintbury

The series of 17th-century wall paintings at St. Nicholas Church, a medieval church on the Cotswold Way near Broadway, has been exposed for the first time in 150 years.

The images date to the 1630s but have remained covered since the 19th century, when they were painted over with white paint, a common practice in the UK during the Victorian period.

Tests carried out on the ancient paintings revealed that they were in danger of long-term damage.

Dr Neil Rushton, Conservation Project Manager at CCT, explains:

“Our investigations have shown that the modern synthetic paint covering the 17th-century images has been trapping water that is damaging the historic layers underneath. 

“The images consist of elaborately painted biblical text surrounded by an intricate and colourful border. To ensure the historic paintings are saved for future generations we are currently removing as much of the modern paint as possible, and in the process revealing the wall paintings for the first time in 150 years.”

Work to conserve the paintings will continue this week and the church will remain open while the work is carried out.

Visitors to St. Nicholas, which is located on the outskirts of the village of Saintbury, can find out more about the work from the on-site conservators, but are asked not to enter the chancel while the work continues.