Deadly sins paintings revealed at Llancarfan church

Image caption, The Devil promotes 'lust' in one of the uncovered paintings

Medieval wall paintings of five of the seven deadly sins are to be unveiled at a Vale of Glamorgan church following conservation work.

Depictions of greed, avarice, lust, sloth and pride have been uncovered in a £140,000, three-year project at St Cadoc's Church, Llancarfan.

An event on Friday will celebrate the rediscovery of the 15th Century wall paintings last seen in full in 1547.

Funding is being sought to uncover the two remaining sins - anger and envy.

Parishioners set up a conservation committee in 2008 when architects discovered a thin red line of ochre beneath more than 20 layers of limewash added over five centuries.

Conservators were called in, paid for with money from the Heritage Lottery Fund, heritage body Cadw and other sources.

Pictures have been uncovered of a royal family and what has been described as one of the largest and most spectacular tableaux of St George and the Dragon ever seen in a British church.

In the most recent phase of the project during summer and autumn this year, paintings of five of the seven deadly sins have been revealed.

'Stream of visitors'

A celebration at the church is being held on Friday evening to thank the various parties involved in carrying out, financing or otherwise supporting the work.

The church, more than 1,000 years old, has been closed to visitors except for services during much of the last three years while conservation work has taken place.

Sam Smith, chair of the conservation committee, said: "Even before this summer's new revelations, St Cadoc's has welcomed a stream of visitors eager to see the wall paintings emerge.

"Our extraordinary 15th Century original offers a wonderful counterpoint to the major reconstructed paintings in the nearby St Teilo's Church at the Museum of Welsh History, St Fagans.

Image caption, The paintings had been covered by an estimated 27 layers of limewash over 460 years

"The Vale is rapidly becoming a fascinating destination for history and art enthusiasts."

It is believed the paintings were covered by limewash following Henry VIII's split with the Roman Catholic church - and a subsequent Protestant rejection of excessive church decoration.

Two further paintings - depicting the sins of anger and envy - are thought to remain hidden.

The priest in charge of Llancarfan, the Venerable Peggy Jackson said: "We hope and trust that we shall be able to reveal the two additional sins as part of a second phase of restoration, for which funding is now being sought."

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