Surrey church’s plea to save rare 13th century wall paintings

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St Mary’s Church in West Horsley has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £3,000 needed to conserve its rare medieval wall paintings.

Originally built in 1030, the Saxon church narrowly escaped being burnt in the Norman invasions of 1066.

The stunning wall paintings date from the year 1200, commissioned by Sir Hugh de Windsor, the Lord of the Manor, and include a 13-foot high depiction of St Christopher and the Passion.

READ MORE: Surrey locations so beautiful they were used as backdrops for Hollywood films and TV shows

The rare murals used to cover every wall of the building, but according to St Mary’s church, “time and nature have taken their toll and we need to preserve the remaining portion of the wall paintings now”.

Vital conservation work will cost £12,000 in total. Although the church has been awarded a grant for £6,000, they have been left to fundraise the shortfall of £6,000 themselves as there is no official body or mechanism to protect and preserve these historic treasures.

Their crowdfunding campaign features a selection of fun rewards, ranging from a guided “Nooks and Crannies” tour of West Horsley Place – filming location for BBC’s Ghosts – for donations of £40, to a skiing simulator experience at Cranmore School for donations of £70.

If you want to find out more about these historic treasures, a £20 donation to the fundraiser will grant you entry to the church’s “Wine and Wall painting” event on Friday, October 15 at 7pm, where you can view the medieval paintings for yourself in the company of a local historian and with a glass of wine in hand.

You can donate online here.

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