St Mary’s Church in Chalgrove, South Oxfordshire, has a unique set of 14th Century wall paintings which decorate the chancel in a series of 44 images, writes Charles Baker.
During a refurbishment of the church two years ago, work was done to conserve the paintings and learn more about them.
With financial help from the Heritage Lottery Fund new methods of interpreting them and the other heritage assets within the church were developed. A new edition of An Illustrated Guide to the Medieval Wallpaintings by Bob Heath-Whyte was completed together with an audio-visual guide available both on i-Touch sets and as a downloadable app for visitors to follow the story on their smartphones or tablets.
As part of the development of the app, digital ‘artist’s impressions’ of the wall paintings were created to show what they might have looked like when painted in c.1320. This work was done by ATS Heritage with the help of Bob Heath-Whyte and the expertise of wall paintings conservator Madeleine Katkov.
As a result we are able to present, on screen, a display of these superb medieval wall paintings as imagined in their original glory and vibrant colour, and this display will be available for visitors to see when the church is open as part of the Heritage Open Days on Saturday 8 September and Sunday 9 September 2–4 pm. You are invited to come and enjoy these internationally renowned wall paintings in a new and special way.
Members of the Friends of St Mary’s will there on both afternoons to welcome visitors and to offer light refreshments.
Charles Baker was project leader for the refurbishment of St Mary’s. He was Chairman of the Diocesan Advisory Committee until December 2017. Prior to that he was the chairman of the Oxfordshire Historic Churches Trust.