Medieval wall paintings in Gloucestershire churches: a list of the churches included in the talk, with a note of the featured wall paintings



Ampney Crucis                                    North transept: early 14th-century figures of saints, including St

                                                Helena, plus heraldic shields and fleur-de-lys in roundels.


Ampney St Mary                     Nave: late 14th/early 15th- century Warning to Sabbath Breakers

                                                (‘Christ of the Trades’), and a St George and the Dragon.


Baunton                                   Nave: 15th-century St Christopher.


Berkeley                                  Nave: 13th-century consecration cross.


Cirencester                               Chancel (St Catherine’s chapel): 15th-century St Christopher.


Deerhurst                                 Chancel (east wall): mid to late 10th-century nimbed figure.


Duntisbourne Rouse                Chancel: early 13th-century scheme, with ‘grotesque’ heads.


Gloucester, St Mary de Crypt   Chancel (north wall): early 16th-century Adoration of the Magi.


Hailes                                      Chancel: early 14th-century figures of St Catherine and St Margaret, figures of the Apostles and Death of the Virgin (?), and heraldic devices and beasts, including several from the medieval ‘bestiary’ and a lion, a leopard and an owl.


                                                Nave: 14th-century St Christopher, and a hunting scene.


Kempley, St Mary                    Chancel: 12th-century scheme showing (on the vault) Christ in Majesty flanked by the symbols of the Evangelists, seraphim and figures of St Peter and the Virgin Mary, with (on the walls) the Apostles, two ‘pilgrims’, a bishop, representations of Heavenly Jerusalem and angels with scrolls.


                                                Nave: Continuation of the 12th-century scheme, including St

                                                John and the Three Marys; 15th-century Wheel of Life,

                                                figures of St Anthony, St Michael weighing souls and three

                                                knights, probably from a martyrdom of St Thomas Becket.


Mitcheldean                             Nave (above chancel arch): 15th-century Last Judgement or ‘Doom’, on wooden panels.


Oddington, St Nicholas                        Nave (north wall): early 15th-century ‘Doom’, plus a painting of

                                                c.1520, probably representing either the Seven Acts of Mercy

                                                and the Seven Deadly Sins or characters from a morality play.


Shorncote                                Chancel : 13th-century masonry patterns and rosettes.


Stoke Orchard                          Nave: 13th-century cycle of the life and miracles of St James.






Stowell                                     Nave (north wall): lower half of a late 12th-/early 13th-century

                                                ‘Doom’, showing the Virgin Mary and Apostles, with a ‘sifting

                                                of souls’ and a combat scene below.


South transept: late 12th-/early 13th-century martyrdoms of St Margaret and St Lawrence.


Tewkesbury Abbey                 Trinity chapel (chantry of Edward le Despenser): 14th-century

                                                Trinity, with donors, and the remains of a Coronation of the

                                                Virgin below.


Winterbourne                          Tower arch: 14th-century heraldic scheme, showing Sir

                                                Thomas Bradeston (d.1360).


Other churches with remains of medieval wall-paintings, or painted stonework, not included in the talk: Bishops Cleeve, Bledington, Buckland, Down Ampney, Fairford, Great Washbourne, Notgrove, Oxenton, Stanton, Turkdean. The Parliament Room at Gloucester has a 15th-century painting of the Trinity, from Little Cloister House.


Churches with Post-Reformation wall-paintings include: Berkeley (crowned Tudor rose), Salperton (‘Memento Mori’), Teddington (Royal coat of arms, 1689), Yanworth (‘Memento Mori’). Other churches have the remains of black & white texts.


Further reading:


Babington, C., Manning, T., and Stewart, S., Our Painted Past. Wall Paintings of English Heritage (English Heritage, London, 1991).


Hobart Bird, W., The Ancient Mural Paintings in the Churches of Gloucestershire (Gloucester, 1927).


Rosewell, Roger, Medieval Wall Paintings in English & Welsh Churches (Boydell Press, Woodbridge, 2008).


Rouse, E. Clive, English Medieval Wall Paintings (Shire Publications Ltd., Princes Risborough, 1991).


Tristram, E.W., English Medieval Wall Paintings (12th to 14th century, in 4 volumes, 1944-55).


Verey, D., and Brooks, A., The Buildings of England: Gloucestershire (2 volumes, 1999 and 2002).


Articles about Gloucestershire’s medieval wall paintings are included in the Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society for 1948 (Ampney St Mary), 1981 (Hailes), 1984 (Stowell), 1986 (Oddington) and 2000 (Ampney Crucis), in the Archaeological Journal for 1967 (Stoke Orchard) and the Antiquaries Journal for 2006 (Deerhurst). A useful website, maintained by Ann Marshall of the Open University, is