Tag Archives: Murals

A Kitty Birthday Celebration

Come and celebrate the Kitty Milroy murals and Kitty herself at St Mark’s on November 7th at a special communion service at 11am, with the Bishop of Dorking and the mural restorers Stephen Rickerby and Lisa Shekede, and a concert and talk at 7pm.

The now-famous murals were restored earlier this year and new lighting has been installed so that they can be seen in their full glory. They are now recognised as being of national importance and a jewel in Surrey’s crown. So, on the day before the anniversary of Kitty’s birth in 1885 and, coincidentally, her death in 1966, we want to invite everyone to St Mark’s for a celebration.

The morning celebration will be a communion service at which the Rt Rev’d Jo Bailey Wells, Bishop of Dorking, will preach, and there will be a chance to hear from Stephen Rickerby and Lisa Shekede who spent 10 weeks painstakingly restoring the murals between April and June this year. In the evening there will be music, talks on the murals and Kitty, along with refreshments and, of course, the chance to see the murals.

Everyone is welcome at both the service and the evening celebration and there will be no charge, but to keep numbers manageable, particularly in the face of Covid, the evening event will be by ticket only. To book your tickets, click here.

The murals were painted between 1911 and 1920 and depict the Annunciation – the meeting between Mary and the Angel Gabriel when Mary is told she will be the mother of Jesus – as well as scenes from the Benedicite, an ancient hymn of praise to God about the wonders of the natural world, and local views. There are figures depicting the natural elements and seasons, and the models for these figures are known to be local people. The whole is a stunning creation by a hugely talented artist and the murals and Kitty herself are finally being given the recognition they deserve.

Come and celebrate this amazingly talented artist and her work.

Work begins on restoring the Kitty Milroy murals

The first stage of restoring the murals at St Mark’s Church has begun.

The murals, which are of significant national importance in the development of 20th-century mural painting, are being stabilised and cleaned by the internationally renowned mural conservationists Stephen Rickerby and Lisa Shekede. They were painted between 1911 and 1920 by local woman Eleanor Catherine Wallace Milroy (‘Kitty’) using other local people as models.

The murals blend influences from European Symbolist painting and the Arts and Crafts Movement and were featured in a recent talk by art historian, lecturer and author Olive Maggs for the Arts and Crafts Movement in Surrey. Comparisons have been made with pictures in The Watts Chapel and it is known that Mary Watts visited the area.

Stephen Rickerby and Lisa Shekede will be in the church for the next 10 weeks in order to complete this stage of the restoration.