The Medieval Wall Paintings of Pickering Church

As part of a series of lectures, we were delighted so many Friends and supporters joined on Thursday 25th February, to hear from YHCT Trustee Dr Kate Giles (Co-director of the University of York’s Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture) who shared the fascinating story of Pickering church and its scheme of medieval wall paintings.

Dismissed by some as ‘merely’ a restoration of the 1880s, Kate revealed how Pickering tells the story of many hundreds of schemes like it in the 19th century, where the discovery of medieval church art was met with ambivalence or open hostility by many clergy, or lost due to misguided restoration practices.

She explained the dilemma faced in the 1880s as the paintings were brought to light once more, the restoration and repainting of the scheme, and the legacy this created for 20th century incumbents and conservators.

In telling Pickering’s story, Kate made the case for Pickering’s significance, not only as a lens through which these changing attitudes to church art can be understood, but also because, notwithstanding their restoration, the original- and possibly unique- meaning of the medieval scheme was preserved in the restoration.

To watch the lecture, click here:

Join us for the next two lectures on Thursday 25th March and Thursday 22nd April. More details here: :