While Renovating His Home, This Man Finds Historically Significant Paintings in the Walls of His Home
We don’t often find kitchen renovations turning into an exploration of antique pieces, but one man did and was overjoyed with the discovery. Hidden behind the plain kitchen walls in his Northern England home were elaborate paintings dating back four centuries ago.
Quite remarkable, isn’t it! A visit from the authorities of Historic England confirmed that the murals were indeed of national significance. Let’s dig in for more.
The Man and His Home in the Spotlight
Dr. Luke Budworth is a medical researcher at Leeds University. He lives with his partner Hazel Mooney and their pet dog Leonard at a cozy apartment in the Cathedral City of York. They moved into their home in October 2020 and, two years later, wanted to renovate their humble one-bedroom apartment.
The couple moved out temporarily to allow the contractors unhindered access to the space for them to work. Little did they know what awaited the workmen.
Not Just Another Job for the Kitchen Fitters
For the contractors, it was just another house that needed their expert workmanship until they found an old painting peeking at them from behind a peeled layer of a kitchen wall. The fitters knew right away that they had stumbled upon an extraordinary discovery.
They informed Luke, but the new cupboards were up by the time he arrived, covering the ancient mural on that wall. He suspected the other walls hid something similar, and he was right.
Unearthed Paintings Nearly 400 Years Old
A thorough inspection of the paneling on the other wall of the open-plan living space revealed a matching painting measuring nine feet by four feet. Unfortunately, both the beautiful friezes were cut off at the ceiling but remained a fantastic rediscovery, dating back to around 1660 CE. In fact, the friezes were later found to be older than the building itself, which was listed as a Grade II Georgian building constructed in 1747.
What are the chances the man who rediscovered the historic friezes was a history buff! When searching for a home to settle in, he had been drawn to the Mitlegate neighborhood for its historical significance. Imagine finding out that history was not only around him but inside his home as well. Maybe Luke, an avid researcher, was destined to find the fascinating ancient murals that soon became Yorkshire’s proud discovery.
All About the Newly Exposed Friezes
As a history enthusiast and researcher, Luke soon learned more about the fabulous friezes. One of the newly exposed murals clearly depicted a biblical scene of a caged man being pulled by an angel, probably on a ride to the kingdom of heaven.
The Cheshire native also figured out that both the friezes featured scenes from a book titled Emblems by the 17th-century poet Francis Quarles published in 1635.
Paintings Authenticated by Historic England
Thrilled about the discovery, Luke contacted Historic England, a public organization tending to the country’s historic environment. They care for all those listed buildings and monuments and convey their significance and value to the people.
The representative who visited the household evaluated the artwork in detail and took professional photographs of each. They extended support to the couple in their conservation efforts. In fact, the paintings were first discovered in 1998 and later covered up.
The Couple on the Lookout for Funding
Luke and his partner Hazel were excited about the amazing find but, at the same time, felt it to be a burden too. The upkeep of the friezes requires tons of money, and the couple does not have the necessary resources for the conservation.
The Historic England authorities are doing their best to preserve the paintings as much as possible. They presented the couple with a life-sized, high-quality replica of the exposed frieze to preserve the original.
Incorporated the Friezes Into Their Home Decor
Without the necessary funding to conserve the prized paintings, the couple decided to use the artwork in the best way at their humble abode. They incorporated the incredible friezes into their decor, showcasing them to the best of their ability.
It sure is quite an honor to have ancient murals dating back 400 years decorating the walls of your living room. The feeling of sipping tea every day while sitting beside historic artwork is indeed priceless.
Neighbors Need to Wonder About Their Walls
Considering the fact that the entire main street of Micklegate and the town at large is of historical significance, everyone began to wonder what other antique treasures the other households in the neighborhood might reveal. Luke suspects we might also find a few similar pieces of art in others’ homes.
It is probably a good idea for the neighbors to look at their walls suspiciously and thoroughly inspect their homes. Maybe, they’ll unearth more artwork of historic value.