A window to the past is opened as heraldic paintings uncovered in Wymondham house

The exterior of the house at 9 Town Green, Wymondham. Photo: ANDREA KIRKHAM

The exterior of the house at 9 Town Green, Wymondham. Photo: ANDREA KIRKHAM - Credit: Archant

A extraordinary series of heraldic wall paintings have been discovered in Wymondham's oldest surviving building.

A view inside the house at 9 Town Green, Wymondham, showing the fireplace. Photo: ANDREA KIRKHAM

A view inside the house at 9 Town Green, Wymondham, showing the fireplace. Photo: ANDREA KIRKHAM - Credit: Archant

The rare Tudor-era works have been found at 9 Town Green, a Grade-II listed timber-framed house.

South Norfolk Council's Buildings Preservation Trust linked up with the building's owner, Ken Edwards, to fund research and stabilization works at the house by Norwich-based conservation expert Dr Andrea Kirkham over three days in August and September.

Dr Kirkham said: 'This type of heraldry scheme is rare and the wall paintings are a very important discovery.

'Their discovery emphasises the need to have investigation surveys carried out before building work begins in any historic building.'

The heradry on the north wall of the house at 9 Town Green, Wymondham. Photo: ANDREA KIRKHAM

The heradry on the north wall of the house at 9 Town Green, Wymondham. Photo: ANDREA KIRKHAM - Credit: Archant

Stephen Heywood, Norfolk's leading authority on historic buildings, said: 'The restoration of the building has revealed a 14th-century timber-framed house of high status.

'Arch-shaped timbers, oak posts and beams indicate a massive medieval hall.

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'The parlour or private quarters of the lord also still survive in part but were once twice the size.

'In the medieval period it would have been surrounded by countryside before buildings encroached and eventually enveloped Town Green.'

A view showing the heraldry inside the house at 9 Town Green, Wymondham. Photo: ANDREA KIRKHAM

A view showing the heraldry inside the house at 9 Town Green, Wymondham. Photo: ANDREA KIRKHAM - Credit: Archant

Historian and heraldry expert Edward Martin also worked on the project, identifying 41 Tudor shields.

Although it's not certain who the medieval owners of the house were, Mr Martin's report said there was strong evidence of a link to John de Vere, who was the sixth or 15th Earl of Oxford, in the time of his first marriage, to Dorothy, between 1536 and 1548, because the arms of both their families are displayed together.

Mr Martin also said John de Vere was known as a keen supporter of his father's company of actors - the Earl of Oxford's Players - which could explain some of the house's decorations.

The preservation trust's chairman, Steve Beckett, said: 'The trust was set up with funding from South Norfolk Council to help with historic buildings at risk.

A view showing the heraldry inside the house at 9 Town Green, Wymondham. Photo: ANDREA KIRKHAM

A view showing the heraldry inside the house at 9 Town Green, Wymondham. Photo: ANDREA KIRKHAM - Credit: Archant

'We were able to share the cost of the work by Andrea with the owner and were delighted to be able to help in this exceptional discovery in Wymondham.'

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