St Mary's Church

Chancel Screen Reconstruction (c1500)

Chancel Screen Reconstruction (c1500)

Nave Reconstruction (c1800)

Nave Reconstruction (c1800)

A speculative digital reconstruction of the early sixteenth-century chancel screen of St Mary's parish church in Youghal, Ireland. Using survey measurements, I developed a computer model to help me work out a possible design for the screen and its loft. Its form is guided by the information written in historical documents and from a single piece of decorated timber, that may have been part of this original screen, found underneath the church floor during recent archaeological investigations. I have combined influences from some surviving medieval screens found in churches in several English counties. The depiction of the Last Judgement painted above the chancel arch is imaginary, and also influenced by similar mural paintings found in several medieval English churches. The Last Judgement, sometimes also referred to as a ‘Doom’, was a common feature of medieval churches. It was an instrument for highlighting the contrasts between the rewards of heaven and the agony of hell, intended to guide Christians away from sin and misbehaviour. The second reconstruction shows the nave at St Mary's church in 1800, three hundred years later. By this time the entire east limb of the church, the chancel, is ruinous - its chancel arch replaced by a single large window of intersecting Y tracery. Box pew seating and galleries were added to the nave to accommodate more worshippers. The long objects on the floor in the centre of the nave are radiators and were part of the church's earliest central heating system. Commissioned by Cork County Council / Scroope Design (Ireland) 2020.