Hidden meanings

There 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.

Wallpaintings contributed to the colourful interior of every Medieval parish church and there were a certain range of subjects which were commonly depicted. A lot of paintings were purely decorative, some presented teachings about moral behaviour and others told life stories of Christ, saints and martyrs. 

But all is not always what it seems - schemes were riddled with meanings beyond the basic composition to help tell the story or teach the beholder. We have grouped these subjects into themes below.

Names and groupings are how we refer to them - other organisations may differ. Not all schemes used in English wallpainting are covered, only those evident in our churches.