Chaldon Church

Having lived in Coulsdon, Surrey for over five years, I finally ventured to the Church of St Peter & St Paul’s, a couple of miles away in Chaldon. It was a visit worth waiting for.

The church itself was pleasant enough, built in the 10th century in Saxon style. 

What is remarkable however is the 12th century Doom Mural, which is mentioned in the Domesday Book.

Resembling a painting by Hieronymous Bosch, it depicts a Heaven & Hell and features a stairway to Heaven with sinners falling by the wayside and into Hell.

The upper part of the mural is all angels and fluffy white clouds, whereas down in the bowels of existence, Satanic figures glorify in boiling heathens in giant vats and pursuing other tortuous acts featuring fire, brimstone and sharp implements.

It is a grisly sight to be contained in such a small rural place of worship, but a compelling view and insight into the Catholic mindset of mediaeval England.

If you decide to pay a visit, do make sure you pop in for a cup of tea before you leave the area!




  1. Interesting. Earlier this year I visited the 7th Century Church in Escomb near Bishop Auckland which claims to be the oldest Saxon church in England although this is contested by Bradford-on-Avon in Wiltshire, Barton in Northamptonshire and Bradwell-on-Sea in Essex.
    I used to visit Surrey quite regularly when I was working for a waste management company in the 1990 but I have never been to Coulsdon.

    1. Yes, hidden gems are wonderful…. I may pay a visit to BA too plus Lindesfarne as never been. Did Alnwick once which was also a pleasant surprise.

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