< Back to News & Events

Layers of History: The Wall Paintings at St Mary's Houghton-on-the-Hill

Friday, August 4, 2023

St Mary’s Church at Houghton-on-the-Hill stands proud and windswept on a lonely bridleway in Norfolk’s Breckland. It wasn’t always so.

For forty years it had disappeared inside a refuge of brambles and ivy until in 1982 an enquiring rambler found a door and a church within. Her husband, Bob Davey, spent the rest of his life restoring St Mary’s to make it a place of meditation, worship and rest. It is now a Grade 1 listed building and one of the nation’s treasures.

During the restoration a patch of paint was found on the east wall. Experts became interested, and before long, not one, but three layers of original wall-paintings had been discovered. The earliest of these layers dated to, along with the fabric of the building itself, around 1090, making them some of the earliest and most significant wall-paintings in Europe.

Join historian Dr Sue Gattuso – Trustee of the Friends of St Mary’s, as well as manager of Swaffham Museum – who has been continuing the work of Bob Davey in attempting to untangle the stories of St Mary’s, as she discusses the history of the church and details the messages of the paintings. These world class art treasures seem to embody in a literal way the layers of history that make English parish churches so endlessly fascinating.’

Dates: Friday 4 August 2023
Times: 7pm - 8.30pm (doors open from 6.30pm)
Tickets: £8 per person
Booking: Use the 'Book now' button or call 01284 758000
Venue: Moyse's Hall Museum

This event is promoted by West Suffolk - Heritage

To Book - Click Here

< Back to News & Events
Become a Friend of St Mary'sDonateDonate to St Mary's

Open: Last weekend March to Last weekend October
every day 2pm - 4pm

Open: 1st weekend November to Last weekend March
Saturday & Sunday 2pm - 4pm

Email Us
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

St Mary's Church
Browns Lane
PE37 8BF

Go To Google Maps...

The Friends of St Mary’s Church is a registered charity no: 1069758

©2023 Houghton St Mary's. | All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy
Terms & Conditions