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A fragile inheritance

English churches are rich in medieval wall-paintings, but many were covered up during the Reformation. Now they are being revealed again, says Roger Rosewell

IT IS HARD to imagine that the walls of Britain’s medieval churches — from the greatest to the poorest — were once covered in eye-catching paintings and brilliant colours.

Over the past five years, I have visited hundreds of churches, recording and photographing the best survivors of this fragile heritage. Although many are faded and incomplete, others provide tangible encounters with medieval life and people. They are among our greatest — and often least-understood — treasures. ...

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