Urgent repair work starts on historic church

St Leonard's in Flamstead Credit: Flamstead Heritage Project

Work's begun to save some rare 12th and 13th century church murals in Hertfordshire.

The frescos inside St Leonard's in Flamstead, near Luton, were at risk of permanent water damage from a leaking roof, but a million pounds has been raised to complete the repairs and save them.

The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded the project £750,000, while locals have raised a further £285,000 to start the repairs.

One of the rare frescos Credit: Flamstead Heritage Project

The murals were covered up during the Reformation and were only rediscovered in the 1930s.

Art historian Ellie Pridgeon said they "stand out" among UK wall paintings, which makes them "very special".

They are believed to be created by the same artist who painted murals at St Albans cathedral, and the Grade I-listed Norman building also has Tudor monuments and medieval graffiti.