A festive and seasonal image for December. The days may be short but the lights are on and the local shopkeepers are keen to help you find that perfect present. Come and explore the independent shops at Halesworth and Southwold. Merry Christmas!

Explore The Wenhaston Doom

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Explore The Wenhaston Doom

Explore The Wenhaston Doom

To explore the Doom in more detail just click on the various parts on the picture above for a closer view and commentary.

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.

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Some Favourite Websites For December 2018:

Stoneware BirdsLife-sized handmade and unique British birds, now available to buy online.

A charming unique gift or a treat for oneself. See the website to know how each one is made. Now available to buy online. Each bird is an individual creation, varying in choice from the perky wren to the plump bullfinch together with other well-loved British birds. Which will you choose?

Victoria CottageCentrally-located Southwold Cottage for Two, plus up to two dogs at no extra charge

Just minutes from Southwold's seafront, High Street, pubs and pier, this Victorian cottage has views of Southwold's iconic lighthouse from the upstairs day room and the charming rear courtyard. WiFi. Up to two well-behaved dogs welcome. Summer weeks and flexible breaks available.

Hetty’s Little Copy ShopA wide range of printing services - including 3D - plus passport photos and more

The Little Copy Shop is in Thoroughfare, Halesworth, and offers all sorts of useful services involving printing, laminating, scanning, binding and copying plus various photographic services including passport photos.

Valley FarmA large family farmhouse in Walberswick

A Grade II listed farmhouse for up to 11, plus 2 cots, with amazing views across the marshes to the sea.

Singtong Neeyom Thai RestaurantDelicious authentic Thai Cuisine

Take a look at Singtong Neeyom Thai Restaurant in the centre of Halesworth, for a range of delicious and skillfully prepared Thai dishes created by their own native Thai, Piek.