The Apollo’s Norfolk road trip

Apollo camera capturing a infrared reflectogram
The Apollo camera capturing the south side of the rood, panels 3 and 4.

We had the pleasure, at the request of Dr Lucy Wrapson from The Hamilton Kerr Institute, to capture infrared reflectograms of a rood screen in South Norfolk that she is trying to restore back to some of its former glory.

Only 14 panels from the base of the rood have survived the harsh conditions of the English weather and the occasional bird droppings over the last 500 years. These incredible medieval wood panel paintings are found in the Foulden All Saints Church nestled in the idyllic Norfolk countryside. Much to our bewilderment these treasures have been painted over to look like ordinary wood panels, six of which have not been treated to remove the top three layers of paint, but the other eight panels are in the process of being cleaned and restored.

In our discussions with Lucy we learnt that Norfolk has the highest concentration of these types of artworks in England, some very interesting facts about the different saints (Catherine, Margret, canonised Henry VI and the local St Wolstan, the patron saint of farmers) and why some of the saints where now defaced.

We captured infrared reflectograms of the panels for Lucy to analyse and are looking forward posting a case study soon on Lucy’s findings.

infrared reflectogram

Infrared reflectogram of the four door panels (far left) and the six panels (right) all painted over in ochre paint.


infrared refelctogram of medieval wood panel painting

The south panel 3 with King Henry vi (left) and the infrared reflectogram revealing the underdrawing and the painting that is under the layers of ochre paint (left).