Religious murals were meant to be both devotional and to teach. Bibles and service books in the medieval age were handcopied, and as a result both rare and expensive. Furthermore, the majority of the rural population was illiterate. Thus, the murals were used to instruct the congregation, relying on a convention of signs and gestures to ensure their meaning was understood.
The Day of Judgement
A mural representing the Day of Judgement, otherwise known as the Doom, was to be found in almost every church. In the chapel it was placed over the chancel arch, in full view of the congregation, to provide both an encouragement and warning.
The figure of Christ is seen sitting in judgement on the souls of the dead. The figures of St Mary and St John the Baptist kneel either side of Christ. Souls of the dead, shown as small naked figures, are rising from graves and are accordingly being welcomed by St Peter into the heavenly city or are being dragged by demons into the fiery cauldron of hell. Crowns and mitres are used to signify the rank and status of some of the figures.
The West Wall
The murals opposite the Doom on the west wall depict Thomas Becket and St George, and were intended to encourage contemplation on the qualities of each saint - Becket's martyrdom in defence of the Church against the secular power, and St George's manly Christian virtue and chivalry. Today the most evident feature of the mural on the lefthand side of the wall is the altar, in front of which Becket was shown being murdered by the four knights. The knights are labelled with their names and Becket's chaplain stands in horror in the background. The principal features of the corresponding mural are the tail of the dragon and the green foreground. Fisher's reconstruction shows St George on a white horse in the middle of the mural and the curious figure of the princess and her dog. In the background is the city of Silene and on its battlements the princess' parents and other spectators.