In 1887, the building of S. Mary’s was complete, and Father Arthur Wagner instructed a team of artists to paint murals throughout the interior of the church.  The murals, designed by him in the ‘Arts and Crafts’ style, took almost twenty years to complete.  Sadly Father Wagner died before they were completed.  The murals consisted of saints (some painted using the ‘Marouflage technique) and angels all emblazoned in bright colours; red, blue and lashings of gold.  Friezes of vines and pomegranates enhanced the borders along with biblical texts above the arches.  

In 1951, the then Parish Priest decided he didn’t like the murals, and in an act of total vandalism (my words) whitewashed over all of them.  Lost forever?  Well, until 2020 when the emulsion paint (9 layers) started peeling off the east wall, revealing part of the mural which we now know was painted in oil, and was therefore protected beneath the emulsion.  A recent inspection by art conservators found the partly revealed murals to be of good quality, and well worth restoring.  The cost of which will be around £30,000.  If you would like to find out more about the murals, come to S. Mary’s – the church is open most days, or contact me on 

Tel: 01825 830076, Email:  

Please help us save our murals.  Donations can be made by bank transfer: Account Name: Parish of Buxted and Hadlow Down.  

Account No: 11454064.  Sort Code: 40-45-32.  Reference: V Mural.

Cheques should be made payable to: Parish of Buxted and Hadlow Down, and sent to: The Rectory, Church Road, Buxted, TN22 4LP.

If you are a UK taxpayer and would like to Gift Aid your donation (25p in every £1 you donate can be claimed from the government), please ask me for a Charity Gift Aid Declaration Form.  

Thank you for your support.

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