Photo Article - the amazing murals at Pickering Parish Church

Tom Winnifrith Wednesday 15 January 2020


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I had never been to Pickering before, or not that I remember, but it was where we decided to rent a cottage in the week after the New Year. Most attractions were closed, notably the North Yorks Railyway which annoyed Joshua greatly. But I managed to meet up with two cousins of my mother and we had fun in Whitby and Robin Hood’s Bay as well as being almost the only visitors on a bitterly cold day at the Flamingo Land zoo near Malton.

Back in Pickering the castle was closed but we all enjoyed a muddy walk around its walls as Joshua explianed that castles are where Princesses live. The Parish church of St Peter & St Paul, is the other gem in the town and is noted for its medieval murals dating from 1450. These were covered up in the Reformation and forgotten about. A Victorian priest stumbled upon them by accident as plaster fell in 1852 but saw too much flesh for his prudish tastes and covered them up again and so they have only seen the light of day since a more enlightened Reverend, Lightfoot, took charge in 1876. They are, as you can see below, magnificent.

The four murals shown below are St George, St Christopher (don;t you love the snake around his ankle?), the martydom of St Edmond and, my favourite, the descent into hell.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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