This is thought to have been painted circa 1490. It would originally have been placed on the chancel arch so that it would be towering above the church congregation. It escaped the iconoclasts through being painted over and was forgotten about for centuries. In 1892 it was taken out to be burnt as rubbish when overnight rain washed off some of the surface paint and revealed what was beneath. It is one of the very best Doom paintings left in the country. I have photographed others in Salisbury and Dauntsey, Wiltshire, and also at Stanningfield in Suffolk, but for me Wenhaston wins hands down. The others are painted onto the wall, this one on wooden boards.
I hadn’t been to Wenhaston for years and it was only due to the sky clouding over yesterday that I thought of revisiting. I was on route to Blythburgh church not far away up the A12.
In this picture sinners are being forced into the mouth of a huge fish-like monster – down into hell while being tortured by demons. All things considered these poor souls seem surprisingly composed!
A gallery of 19 images of the Wenhaston Doom is now on Geography Photos