About us

In 1954, during some alterations to the upper floor of 20 High Street North, Dunstable, wall paintings were discovered when false panelling was removed.

At some point in the past, the paintings had been covered and forgotten. With the covering partly removed, it was possible to see that at least one wall was completely covered with paintings between the timber-frames. There were six panels depicting a hunting scene. However, due to financial constraints, the paintings were again covered over.

Knowing of the paintings, John Bailey, the Bedfordshire timber frame expert, contacted Dr. Clive Rouse, the renowned wall painting historian of the day and in March 1977, he visited the property.
Dr. Rouse observed that ‘the somewhat unpromising exterior of the premises concealed a most interesting timber-framed structure with a wall painting of considerable extent, great interest and great importance’. Estimates were obtained to restore the paintings and some funds raised. However, Charlie Cole decided in 1978 not to let the public into the room because of disruption to his business and so the paintings remained undisturbed until the Nationwide Building Society acquired the building in 1985.

View of first floor room of 20 High Street North, Dunstable in July 1985