Explore The Wenhaston Doom
The Wenhaston Doom is a 16th-century panel painting depicting the Last Day of Judgment. This rare work of art was discovered during restoration work in 1892, hidden under whitewash on the wooden tympanum taken down from above the chancel arch.
In its present position you see the Wenhaston Doom against the opposite wall on entering St.Peter's church. This remarkable painting would have originally been affixed at the Chancel Arch, between the chancel and nave, where the drama of its story would have been appreciated by the congregation. You can see the outline of where the three wooden figures of the Rood group were fixed (Christ between St.John and the Blessed Virgin Mary). Where the Rood, a wooden cross, was also fixed can also be seen. (Note the nail holes). This explains why the painted Christ, seated on a rainbow, is off-centre, although still above all other figures.
Nationally, other surviving Doom (or Day of Judgement) paintings of similar age, have been painted directly on to the walls at their church. This Doom however is notable because it is painted on to wooden boards. The fact that the Doom can be seen today is due to those boards being whitewashed over, as long ago as the mid 1500s. So the painting remained hidden to view for generations, and, most importantly, hidden from the attentions of the church despoilers of Cromwell's Commonwealth in 1644.
Wenhaston once had angels on the beams of the church roof, but these despised items, along with much else, were destroyed at this time.
One day in 1892, during church alterations, these boards were removed from the church and taken out to the churchyard. (Was there a plan to light a bonfire?). Imagine the astonishment when overnight rain revealed the glorious long-forgotten painting from under its covering.
Experts differ on the date the Doom was painted, by whom it was painted, and whether this involved one artist or more than one. It is understood that the added Bible text is Elizabethan and reads, in English, from Romans, chapter 13, verses 1-4. The text is separate from the Doom.
For sure we today are viewing a Doom painting which is about 500 years old. It is placed by most experts within the 'Top 10' of such paintings nationally, and even ranked by some at Number 1.
Postcards of the Doom are available at St.Peter's church where they may be purchased. Literature about the Doom is also in St.Peter's church. If you plan to come and see the Doom for yourself there is bed and breakfast and self catering accommodation in Wenhaston and surrounding area.
Some Favourite Websites For June 2021:
Hare Lodge Bed and Breakfast – An expansive but affordable pet friendly Bed and Breakfast
Offering four bed and breakfast rooms (two ground floor rooms with ensuite bathrooms, both with king size beds). Two rooms have the added luxury of their own lounge and kitchen with two bedrooms upstairs with views of the gardens. A fresh, delicious and locally sourced breakfast awaits you.
The Halesworth Pet Store – Specialists in Animal Nutrition and Pet Care
Visit our shop or take advantage of our Free Local Delivery Service! We are experts in animal nutrition, catering for all quantities – from small bags to bulk deliveries amd we are happy to help with all of your requirements
Alan Ross Removals – Alan Ross Removals
A long-established Suffolk-based company with a wealth of experience and offering competitive pricing for removals, haulage and storage. Residential and commercial relocation services offered.
Jennie Jones – Southwold's own specialist Estate Agents for buying, selling or renting
Jennie Jones is one of the areas leading independent estate agents with offices in Southwold. They are a progressive independent firm who work closely with their clients to provide the highest standards of personal and professional service.
St James Village Orchard – A beautifully well kept natural space cared for and maintained by the community
At the western edge of the small Suffolk village of St James South Elmham is a triangular shaped field of about one acre, bounded on two sides by Metfield Road and Common Road and known as the Greshaw Green Enclosure. The St James Village Orchard Project has transformed the enclosure into a flourishing community orchard.