The People’s Chapel
The 10th century wall paintings were revealed in 1862. The lower painting shows the Crucifixion, with Mary the mother of Jesus and St.John at the foot of the cross. This painting was designed as a reredos for an altar but has suffered from over-painting by Victorian restorers. The brocade pattern is a 15th century addition.
The arch above, probably constructed as an altar recess, has evidence of at least two phases of decoration. The 14th century dark red cross has been painted over a 13th century Crucifixion scene and red scrollwork. There is evidence of supports for a wooden crucifix which pre-date the painted cross. The red interlace pattern was added between the 14th and 16th centuries.
The People’s Chapel would have been separated from the monastic church by a wooden screen about two metres high, the lower part of which remains. It is suggested that pilgrims would have approached the shrine through the small doorway to the left of the altar, though a far more impressive approach would have been more usual. The small aumbry to the north of the doorway may have contained a devotional object for pilgrims, or was perhaps where they might leave their ‘pilgrim pennies’ before entering the shrine.