The Uncovering And Conservation Of The Medieval Wall Paintings At St James The Less’ Church, Little Tey

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The Uncovering And Conservation Of The Medieval Wall Paintings At St James The Less’ Church, Little Tey

By Tobit Curteis

Essex Archaeology and History, Vol 29 (1998)

Abstract: The recent programme of conservation in the small 12th-century church of St James the Less at Little Tey revealed two unusual and interesting schemes of wall painting, dating to the 13th-century and the 14th-century respectively. On the walls of the apse, an extensive 13th-century Passion cycle was discovered, as well as fragments of a later  painting, indicating that a similar narrative cycle had been painted there in the following century. Elsewhere in the church, fragments of other 13th-century painitings were uncovered, including scenes of Adam and Eve and two unidentified saints. Of the 14th-century paintings, the most interesting discovery was the Virgin and Child on the north wall. Although many of the paintings were fragmentary, it is clear that both the 13th- and 14th-century schemes were of an unusually high figurative quality.

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Sharan Newman