Southwold Railway Trust Archive of Wenhaston

History Note #7: The Church

History Note #7: The Church
The unveiling of The Doom during a Victorian restoration

St. Peter, originally St. Peter and St. Paul, was built on a site that possibly was hosting a small Roman temple, then a Saxon church, then a church mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086 and the present one dating from 14th to 15th century.

There are some Norman windows still in situ. The pulpit was made in 1620 at a cost of £3! There was a gallery across the tower entrance but this was removed in 1928.

The Doom painting was painted on boards and placed at the top of the chancel arch. In Edward VI time it was whitewashed over therefore escaping the attention of Dowsing’s men. In 1892 the Victorian restoration was taking place and the painted woodwork was taken down and placed in the churchyard.

Overnight there was a thunderstorm and some of the painting was revealed. Hasty rethinking took place! There have been various thoughts regarding the origins of the Doom. The latest and most acceptable is that it was painted around 1510 and by a Master Painter and his accomplice. The Master being from the Netherlands or being influenced by the Dutch School of Painting.