Detail of the 15th century St George and the Dragon tableaux in St Cadoc’s Church, Llancarfan, Wales
St Cadoc’s in Llancarfan, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales appears to be just another little village church. Established on the site of a much earlier 7th century monastery, and founded around 1,200ce, the church is now causing something of a sensation after the discovery in 2007 of a thin line of red paint on one of the interior walls. A team of experts were subsequently called in to investigate and to see what else might be hidden behind the twenty layers of limewash that had accumulated on the walls over the centuries.
After five years of painstaking work, and sometimes exposing little more than one square inch of painting an hour, conservators working on the walls have revealed an astonishing array of 15th century murals; among them St George and the Dragon, the Seven Deadly Sins, portraits and an extraordinary painting of a corpse with worms and toads crawling out of its body as it leads a young man into the graveyard via a window. What is unusual about this painting is that the young man is painted on one wall and the corpse on another wall at a different angle – a clever use of three dimensional illusion.
Watch the BBC News Magazine video  of the paintings here. See also our features on the Church of St Peter and St Paul, Pickering, North Yorkshire and St Mary’s Church, Bartlow, Cambridgeshire.