Paint Detectives: The latest analysis of the paint pigments in the Chapter House, Southwell Minster

The Leaves of Southwell Project presents an online talk by Professor Chris Brooke

A closeup of one of the Leaves carvings

Although the carvings in the Chapter House are now devoid of any colour beyond that of the natural stone there is ample evidence elsewhere that carving of this period would have been richly decorated with colour. Over the past two years, we have been examining the Chapter House carvings using a range of scientific methods of analysis. The aim is to see if we can find microscopic traces of surviving paint which will give us an idea of how the space was coloured during the medieval period. The latest batch of results has recently come back from the laboratory and this short talk will explain our preliminary findings.

About Professor Chris Brooke

Professor Chris Brooke undertakes research in church archaeology, medieval history, and archaeological science at Nottingham, Nottingham Trent, and Durham universities. He specialises in non-destructive remote sensing and analysis of historic building fabric and fittings, as well as researching novel image processing techniques. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and an Associate Fellow of the Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society. He is joint editor of the Southwell and Nottingham Church History Project.