Places: Religious Buildings

Alfred Leedes Hunt

The rood screen of Gt Snoring's parish church is not well documented, but it has two painted panels that survived the Reformation.

One depicts the Holy Trinity in the form of God the Father holding the crucified Christ while a dove descends. This representation is not that uncommon in medieval churches, but it is unusual on roodscreens. The panel beside it depicts Mary and the infant Christ, at once tender and beautiful.

Although the paintings have lost much of their original detail and delicacy of workmanship they are still sufficiently well preserved to exhibit dignity and firmness of conception with great beauty of colour.

Great Snoring Church - The Rood Screen

Brief history and description of the Rood-Screen panels

(This account taken from the typed and framed description hanging inside the Church.)

The two panels on the right of the arch were almost certainly painted in situ in the early part of the fifteenth century. Evidence suggests that at one time box pews were attached to the dado and dismantled possibly in 1898. Those parts of the screen which had not been thus covered by woodwork had been savagely maltreated before layers of brown were applied.

rood screen panels

The painting on the right panel was uncovered by Professor Tristram in the early 1930's. This is a representation of the Trinity in which God the Father is depicted wearing a greenish-blue mantle enriched with a gold diaper. His arms are extended at either side of him and around his head is a cruciform nimbus.

God The Father Panel

A roodscreen father crown rests above the head, not on the head which is the more usual position. Before him as a representation of Lord on the cross.

Formerly there must also have been a Dove, the symbol of the Holy Spirit, above the cross and below the head of the Father, but all traces of it were removed when the painting was mutilated. The background is in rich with the brocade pattern.

Some of the Protestant reformers, in particular Andreas Karlstadt, Huldrych Zwingli and John Calvin, encouraged the removal of religious images by invoking the bible's prohibition of idolatry and the manufacture of graven (sculpted) images of God.

As a result, individuals attacked statues and images, and others were lost during unauthorised iconoclastic riots.

However, in most cases, civil authorities removed images in an orderly manner in the newly reformed Protestant cities and territories of Europe.

Protestant Christianity was not uniformly hostile to the use of religious images. Martin Luther, initially hostile, came round to the view that Christians should be free to use religious images as long as they did not worship them in place of God. 



Virgin with Child Panel

The restoration of the left panel was undertaken by Miss Anna Hulbert between 1981 to 1988. roodscreen virgin and child

The painting revealed on this panel is of the Virgin and Child, the hand of the Child reaching up to the golden brooch of her ermine-lined cloak of red embroidered in yellow.

The Virgin's Halo and her mouth and chin was found to be in quite good condition, but unfortunately her nose and eyes had been cut out.

Additional Work

It was thought unlikely that even if there were further paintings on the other panels that these could be restored.

Because in their varnish condition they looked unsightly and spoil the appearance of the paintings, stylised stencils of pomegranate, echoing those on the paintings, were applied.

Repairs to the woodwork were done by Mister J C Dawes. The restoration of these paintings would not have been possible without generous grants from the Council for the care of churches.


Image Gallery


The Snoring Villages: a website for those researching their family trees, and for anybody curious about the history and whereabouts of these two small villages in Norfolk, UK.

Contact The Snorings

I no longer live in Norfolk. I cannot visit graves, make local enquiries or provide contacts for you. Please be aware that I have no information other than that on this website..

Address: Derbyshire, England
Telephone: Unavailable
E-mail: tricia (at)