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 May 2017:
Holly Cottage – Chalet bungalow in Southwold just two minutes from the beach. Option to also hire beach hut
Sleeping up to six and with an enclosed garden. WiFi. Close to beach and town. Available all year.
Hawthorn House – Comfortable Bed and Breakfast with WiFi at Reydon, within easy walk of Southwold
With tea and cake offered on your arrival you can tell that Monica and Brian at Hawthorn House Bed and Breakfast have many years experience of hospitality. Two comfortable rooms, WiFi, off-road parking plus secure storage for bicycles and motorcycles. Close to public transport links.
The Queen's Head, Bramfield – Locally sourced good quality, freshly made food
The Queens Head in Bramfield offers locally sourced, high quality ingredients in all of their freshly made meals. They also serve a full Gluten Free range as well!
Home @ 21 – Home@21 - Chill Darlings Its Southwold's loveliest seaside home from home
A sea-facing 1895 Victorian Villa, offering comfortable and stylish en-suite rooms, occupying a prominent position on North Parade with views of the beach, sea and pier.
Poplar Hall – Poplar Hall is a sympathetically restored 16th Century house with an adjoining Cottage
Poplar Hall is a 16th Century thatched house set in 1.5 acre garden, surrounded by countryside are two Self catering cottages yet is only 2.5 miles from the sea and 3.5 miles from Southwold. A charming, tranquil place to enjoy the countryside and wildlife