South East Wales

Grant to save Vale of Glamorgan church's paintings

Medieval painting of Lust at St Cadoc's Church, Llancarfan
Image caption The Devil promotes 'lust' in one of the uncovered paintings

A Vale of Glamorgan church is being given £500,000 to preserve 15th Century wall paintings uncovered during repairs.

St Cadoc's in Llancarfan boasts what is believed to be the best-preserved image of St George and the Dragon.

Deadly sins greed, avarice, lust, sloth and pride have been found, with anger and envy believed to be still hidden.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) said the church is hugely important in the story of Christianity in Wales.

Dan Clayton Jones, chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales, said: "It is vital that it is properly interpreted and conserved for future generations to explore.

"This project will help tell the story of this fascinating building in a way that will appeal to young people and visitors alike, while ensuring that the site remain a focal point for the whole community."

Train volunteers

An event was held in November to celebrate the rediscovery of the wall paintings which were last seen in full in 1547.

As well as the tableaux of St George and the Dragon, paintings depicting five of the seven deadly sins have been revealed - greed, avarice, lust, sloth and pride.

Image caption The paintings had been covered by an estimated 27 layers of limewash over 460 years

It is believed they were covered by limewash following Henry VIII's split with the Roman Catholic church and a subsequent Protestant rejection of excessive church decoration.

Two further paintings - depicting the sins of anger and envy - are thought to remain hidden.

The £541,900 grant will be used to safeguard St Cadoc's medieval interior and train volunteers to share its heritage with visitors.

'Sharing more'

It will also enable the church to conserve its carved timber 'reredos' canopies and ornate wooden painted screens.

"We are privileged to be entrusted with the care of these wall paintings, which appeared so suddenly as treasures in our midst, and also the reredos which has yet to reveal its true colours," said the Venerable Peggy Jackson, the priest-in-charge of Llancarfan.

There is a "responsibility" to complete the restoration work, she said.

"As a community we are also excited by the prospect of what is still to come.

"We look forward to learning more, and sharing more, with the many visitors who will be finding their way to Llancarfan in the years ahead," she added.

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