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Mon, 11 Sept


Church of St Peter and St Paul

Kate Giles

Hear about the history and restoration of Pickering Church’s important medieval wall paintings in this talk which will take place surrounded by the rare historic artwork.

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Kate Giles
Kate Giles

Time & Location

11 Sept 2023, 19:00 – 20:45

Church of St Peter and St Paul, Hall Garth, Pickering YO18 7AW, UK

About the event

We are delighted to welcome Professor Kate Giles to Pickering Book Tree in collaboration with St Peter and St Paul’s Church.

Kate Giles specialises in historic buildings in the Department of Archaeology at the University of York and is Co-Director of the University’s Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture. Her recent book on the medieval wall paintings of Pickering Church is a fascinating insight into the discovery, restoration and meaning of the important artwork. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn about the rare wall paintings of our town’s beautiful church in person.

The event will begin at Pickering Church, where Kate will talk about its remarkable medieval wall paintings. There will then be an interval during which the event will move to Pickering Book Tree, where wine and cordial will be provided, followed by a Q&A session.

Tickets are free, but booking essential as places are limited.

About the Book

The wall paintings of Pickering Church are one of England’s hidden artistic treasures, giving visitors and scholars alike a powerful experience of what it was like to step through the door of a late medieval painted church. In her stunningly illustrated book Kate Giles tells the story of the discovery, restoration and conservation of these paintings in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Their existence had been totally forgotten by the parish until they were revealed by the accidental collapse of some plaster in 1852, since when they have been understood in the context of shifting philosophies of conservation and arthistorical interpretation. In 1852 the vicar disliked them. They were recorded by the artist Tom Chambers and surveyed by the architect William Hey Dykes, and then whitewashed over. In 1876 a new vicar, G. H. Lightfoot, decided to have the paintings exposed and restored, but with much over-painting, work beginning in 1882. A series of photographs in 1902 are also here published, together with paintings by E. W. Tristram in 1915 and Janet Lenton in 1952 which attempt to reconstruct their ideal original appearance, together with a full survey in modern digital photography of their current appearance after recent conservation. The book concludes with a discussion of the meanings of the paintings with a reevalution of their quality and depths of meaning, with full bibliography, endnotes and index.


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