The medieval painting scheme in the Guild Chapel is internationally important. Much of it survives today and we are still discovering more.
The Guild Chapel was once a riot of colour and imagery. After it was rebuilt in the 15th century, the Chapel walls were covered with paintings of saints, bible stories and allegorical images reflecting on the afterlife and how to get into heaven. This may seem strange to us now – today the walls of most churches are plain – but in the medieval period most churches had brightly painted walls.
However, the changes that were brought about as part of the Reformation in the 16th century meant that images such as these were banned and were often destroyed completely. While some of the Chapel’s paintings have been lost forever, we are lucky that most remained hidden under layers of paint and limewash for centuries until they were rediscovered.