An estimated 400 medieval painted screens survive in parish churches. These decorated rood screens represent the largest collection of late medieval (fourteenth to sixteenth centuries) paintings on wood in the United Kingdom and is a collection of immense quality and international significance.
Looking after rood screens
If you look after a church with medieval painted screens on display there are easy measures you can put in place to ensure the long-term protection of this unique treasure. You can download our guidance note on looking after rood screens here.
If security is a concern you can also download specific advice on protecting church treasures here.
The conservation of painted medieval screens
of East Anglia
A conservation initiative to protect 400 medieval screens in East Anglian parish churches is underway. This remarkable collection has very specific conservation needs, with painted screens displayed within uncontrolled environments in church buildings. The Church Buildings Council secured a grant of £40,000 from the Headley Trust to undertake a pilot project of 10 churches and develop a conservation plan. You can read the final report of the pilot project here.
The aim of this initiative is to find practical ways of helping parishes raise funds for the future treatment of the panels and draw out guidelines to help parishes with similar artworks in their care. This is a partnership with the Hamilton Kerr Institute and Tobit Curteis Associates, seeking to develop a more ambitious plan for the large-scale protection of the whole collection.