The Doom at St. Michael's



The 'Doom' is a painting of the Last Judgement from the fifteenthcentury. It was painted on the wall above St Michael's chancel arch.



All that remains of the original Doom is the wooden semi-circular 'tympanum'. This would have fitted into the top of the chancel arch. The tympanum is now preserved on the south wall of St Michael's nave. A condition survey of the tympanum was made by Tobit Curteis Associates in 1996 and is available from the parish archives on request.



On the tympanum, the vertical strip of unpainted wood was occupied by the 'rood' (crucifix). The rood stood on a beam or loft which would have been accessed via a narrow spiral staircase. The blocked-up door at the bottom of this staircase is visible in St Michael's Lady Chapel



The Doom was boarded over and probably lime-washed during the Reformation. It was uncovered again during building work in 1808 and a drawing made of the complete scene. Sadly, all but tympanum perished in the nineteenth century..

Picture Captions:

Overall view of the tympanium

Detail of a queen rising out of her tomb

Copy of the 1808 drawing of the whole Doom

A needlework rendering of the 1808 drawing, made by a team of St Michael's ladies in the 1970s.