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All Saints Church

All Saints Church, Newland, Gloucestershire
The Chapel of King Edward – An Investigation of the historic Red Decoration

Chapel of King Edwards service

Background & Brief
Research was commissioned to clarify the date of the distinctive red paint visible on the walls of the Chapel of King Edward (All Saints Church, Newland , Gloucestershire).
Traces of a similar red paint – small accidental splashes – were observed on the surface of some of the eighteenth-century monuments within the chapel. It is therefore assummed that the monuments pre-date the application of the red scheme.
Samples were collected by Laura Stevens who also provided detailed photographs of the site. A sample of locally soured red oche pigment was also provided for comparison with the pigmentation of the applied painted decoration.

Research Methodology
1. Examination of documentation and site photographs

2. Examination of the surface of the removed paint sample under low magnification

3. Examination of mounted paint samples under high magnification (X50 – X500) under normal and ultra-violet illumination

DSCN0867 - Finished scheme


  • The red decoration appears to have been applied over a very weathered age wall finish. This suggests that the chapel was previously decorated in a dull red-pink.
  • The red decoration has been applied in one layer. It has not been repeated.
  • If the red decoration matches the splashes and drips on the surface of the 18th century tombs it must post-date the installation of the monuments.
  • The red scheme was over-painted in a 2/3 warm-brown decorations – 2/3 white distemper – 1 cream emulsion – 1/2 white emulsion
  • The locally sourced Red Ochre is a dark-red in colour. The pigment used in the early red decoration is much brighter in colour.