Old Church Redecoration Ends at Last – Now Open Daily
Having resumed work at the end of lockdown on 26th May, Bakers of Danbury are now completing the interior redecoration of the Old Church. The Friends of St Mary’s are looking forward to seeing more visitors to the restored interior.
The Friends have given the church a good clean, and the Churches Conservation Trust have done a Coronavirus risk assessment to ensure visitors remain safe from risk of infection. So the doors are open again, 10 am – 4 pm daily. There is no water facility at the Old Church, and no ability to clean it between visitors, so please be aware that you need to wash or sanitise hands as soon as you get home. Hand sanitiser or sterilising fluid or wipes can’t be used in the church as they would react with the wood and metal to cause damage. Please read the notices which are on the tables when you arrive and avoid touching surfaces as much as possible.
Conservation Still Needed
The South wall has been left un-decorated because of the Mediaeval paintings. The conservator will need to treat it carefully to preserve the wall paintings which are underneath the old cracking plaster. In the end, there will be a smooth clean South wall with preserved wall paintings invisible underneath new plaster and paint, with a couple of visible patches kept open as points of interest. A reminder of these paintings that we reported on previously:
February 2020 Surprise
Workers discovered fragments of 3 mediaeval wall paintings; they called in official conservators to assess the paintings which delayed work.
Work has now resumed and this will leave a lady’s head visible (see right) above the church door. The other fragments are, basically, just fragments and it’s not really as obvious what they are. These will be conserved and covered over as part of the internal decoration.
At first sight, these remnants might not be inspirational but consider they were probably painted 700 years ago!