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Heritage Lottery Fund support for church Doom painting conservation

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This is a text-only version of an article first published on Tuesday, 3 June 2014. Information shown on this page may no longer be current.

The Parish Church of St Peter Ad Vincula in South Newington, north Oxfordshire has been awarded initial support which includes a development grant of £3,700 towards the conservation of its 14 th century chancel arch Doom painting. HLF's support will allow the team behind the project up to a year to apply for the full grant amount of £25,700, goes with grants from Viridor Credits and the Church Buildings Council towards a total project cost of £63,000.

Work is now underway on the preparatory stages of the project in finalising the specifications for the work and talking with conservators. The church of St Peter Ad Vincula is mentioned in most guides to the churches of Britain, and featured in the Bishop of Oxford's recent Pilgrimage Route.

Parts of the building date back to the 12 th century, but the church is most famous for its 14 th and 15 th century medieval wall paintings, attracting many visitors. Doom paintings are stylised depictions of Judgement Day, showing souls of the departed being sent to Heaven or Hell, and many have been destroyed leaving only 70 remaining in this country. The need for this conservation work has been apparent for some time and a full report was originally prepared in 2008.

However, a decision was taken to complete necessary major projects on the building before any work on the painting was attempted.

In the last four years the building has been completely re-roofed, the windows repaired (conserving the medieval stained glass) and the drainage improved.

English Heritage have agreed that the Doom painting is of national importance and that conservation should now take place although the final work will not be carried out until early 2015. A working group of villagers was formed when major works were first considered, and has been responsible for all fund raising, organisation and liaison with contractors and the church architect, Andrew Salter of Acanthus Clews, conservation architects in Banbury.

Following Heritage Lottery Fund guidance, three conservators qualified in this type of detailed work were asked to tender by the architect and the working group are pleased that the winning bid came from The Perry Lithgow Partnership.

The company is based in north Oxfordshire and has a very local link in that principal Richard Lithgow spent his childhood in the village and was married in the church. Details are now being collated to support the second stage of the application to the Heritage Lottery Fund, which will be submitted shortly.

Page last updated: Monday 24th January 2022 5:00 PM
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