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Revealed: the hidden painting of Hoylandswaine

Covered for 50 years - finally to be restored

poor image, taken prior to covering of mural in 1961

The painting, on the East Wall of Hoylandswaine Parish Church, near Barnsley in South Yorkshire, was done in the late 1860s by Pre-Raphaelite John Roddam Spencer Stanhope, often simply called Roddam.

One hundred years later, in 1961, it was covered in white emulsion to save it from damp. Roddam's work has remained hidden for 50 years. Recently an upsurge in interest led to a small test patch being uncovered.

first_sight_of_the_Stanhope_mural_as_old_paint_is_removed_TX_Hoylandswaine_Arts_Group.jpgTest patch near top left of window

Soon a conservation expert will begin the detailed work to restore what's being called 'a Pre-Raphaelite gem'. The mural will then be revealed to the public - an event made possible by a £100,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Society has welcomed the news. 'It's great news that a church has set out to preserve and restore part of its historic fabric,’ said Chris Costelloe, Director. ‘In this case a particularly valuable example of Victorian art from a noted Pre-Raphaelite artist is involved. This is a hugely positive development at a time when churches and other historic buildings are under pressure to rein in costs.'

To mark the occasion the local community will be holding special courses on arts and crafts. Local children will take part in an oral history project where they interview older residents about their memories of the past. These are all seen as valuable ways to mark the occasion.

Chris adds, ‘The grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the events in the local community show what can be achieved when people take an active interest in preserving their history.'

Thursday 27 September, 2012

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