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St.Christopher, Belton, Suffolk?* ( Norwich) mid C.15

*NB or Norfolk, where Clive Rouse puts it. It is east of the Waveney/Yare estuary, near Burgh Castle

Photo:T.Marshall St. Christopher, Belton [23KB]
This is a good example of 15th century repainting of the walls. Initial uncovering of the south wall in 1848 found only the lower half of the painting, showing St. Christopher’s legs and feet. Superimposed on the upper half was a very fine painting of the Three Living and the Three Dead. Certainly this latter painting was clearly visible when it was seen by at least three writers on the subject¹. So matters seem to have rested until comparatively recently, because the leaflet in the church, undated but produced some time after 1972, describes The Three Living and the Three Dead in some detail². Fortunately a copy of it hangs in the church, reproduced in miniature below* and clicking it will take you to a new page dealing with it. The original painting must have deteriorated very quickly in the last 30 years, since a decision was evidently made to sacrifice the central part of it in order to uncover the rest of the St. Christopher.

The existing painting is a fine one, nevertheless. The Saint is rather more elegantly dressed, in dignified if short copy of 3 Living & 3 Dead, Belton [1KB] robes, than he often is. He is a very large figure and his confidently placed feet might well be straddling the river completely. Fish and eels of various kinds swim around them. The Christ Child, held on Christopher’s shoulder at the right has almost disappeared, but he seems to have been holding up his right hand in blessing.

¹EW Tristram, HC Whaite, MR James (Bibliography)
*Photograph reproduced by kind permission of Professor Fred Kloppenborg

Website for Belton church

More paintings of St. Christopher. Follow the links below for individual picture and text pages - in page heading = Diocese
Ashby St Ledgers, Northants Belton, Suffolk Burnham Overy, Norfolk Cottered, Hertfordshire East Wellow, Hants
Edingthorpe Norfolk Fritton, Norfolk Haddiscoe, Norfolk Hemblington, Norfolk Horley, Oxfordshire
Impington, Cambridgeshire Irstead, Norfolk Layer Marney, Essex Littlebourne, Kent Martlesham, Suffolk
Molesworth, Northants Oaksey, Wilts Paston, Norfolk Pickering, N. Yorks Raunds, Northants
Shorwell, Isle of Wight Slapton, Northants Stoke Dry, Rutland Thorpe Mandeville, Northants NEW Thurlton, Norfolk
Thurton, Norfolk NEW Wickhampton, Norfolk Willingham, Cambridgeshire Woodeaton, Oxon

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Diocesan Website with contact information for Belton church

21/12/00

Anne Marshall 2000