BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)
Thomas Becket parish church in the heart of Salisbury.
Doom finally has its day! - A 500 year old 'Day of Judgement’ painting, that has survived Henry VIII th, the Puritans and even Victorian prudery has been restored to its former glory.
Thought to be the largest medieval 'Doom' painting in the country, the striking image been painstakingly restored after a tumultuous 500 year history on the chancel arch of St Thomas Becket church in Salisbury.
Originally painted in the 15th century, the chancel was white-washed during the Reformation before being uncovered nearly 300 years later in the early 19th century.
Prudish Victorian's shocked by the naked images then recovered it before it finally re-emerged in 1881 as opinions relaxed.
Experts have spent three months conserving the faded painting, which included injecting lime slurry behind areas of paint to affix them again to the wall. and delicately 'touching up' in places before finishing it with varnish to bring out its colour.
Most pre 16th century churches and cathedrals in Britain would have been plastered with religious images and iconography to encourage their often illiterate congregation to good behaviour.
But during Henry VIII th Protestant Reformation churches were stripped of all graven imagery and the paintings were either whitewashed over or completely destroyed.
Because of this very few works still survive today making the Salisbury fresco a truly remarkable survivor.
The restoration is part of a larger set of works at the historic church which are due to cost £1.5million.