The historic record for Arminghall Church notes that there was a sixteenth century wall painting of St. Christopher which was destroyed. I was intrigued to know exactly when this little piece of destruction took place, and I have been able to narrow it down to the summer of 1876.
It was during late 1876 that a group from the Norfolk and Norwich Archaeological Society decided to take a trip to numerous locations across the county. One of them was a visit to St. Mary’s which they discovered was “undergoing repair”. This was indeed the case, as John Pollard Seddon was leading a large restoration and rebuilding of the church, changing it to reflect Victorian requirements.
I can imagine the group’s irritation when they discovered that Seddon had done away with what was apparently a beautiful wall painting, replacing it what he must have thought was a delightful white wall. The report from the time says that the group discovered that the painting on the south wall had been “stripped” and added “much to the chagrin of a few of the party”. I’m surprised he managed to only upset a few of the party….
Fortunately a copy of the murals had been drawn before they had been destroyed, I’ll have to at some point look for that…..