Yorkshire: Man finds 400-year-old paintings in kitchen during renovation

You never know what you might find in your kitchen… (Photo: SWNS)

A history buff has come across paintings of ‘national significance’ while renovating his kitchen.

Dr. Luke Budworth, 29, discovered ancient friezes possibly dating back to 1660 at his home in Micklegate, York.

Experts call it an “exciting rediscovery” and say it will provide insight into the street’s history.

Luke knew there was a “weird piece” of his wall, but says it’s “crazy” that he found a piece of history.

Kitchen fitters found the first piece of the painting under his kitchen cupboard.

It features scenes from a 1635 book called Emblems written by poet Francis Quales.

Not long after, Luke discovered more pieces boarded up under his ceiling on both sides of his chimney.

Experts say it could be of ‘national importance’ (Photo: Luke Budworth/SWNS)
They will provide insight into the history of the street (Photo: Luke Budworth/SWNS)

The University of Leeds medical examiner said: ‘When they found it I knew there was a parallel piece of wood on the other side of the chimney that could have had the same.

‘I had never thought about it before, I thought it was pipes behind it.

“We always knew there was a strange stretch of wall but thought the flat was really shaky as it has been a million different things over the years.

“I got really excited, grabbed my tool and started taking it off. At first I thought it was old Victorian wallpaper, but soon I saw that it was actually drawn on the wall of the building next door – so it is older than this building itself.

‘It is estimated to be from around 1660, so the Civil War era. It’s crazy to think it was here before things like the Great Fire of London and things like that.’

Originally from Warrington, Cheshire, Luke was drawn to York in 2020 due to the historical significance of the town.

“To know that the history is not only outside but in my flat is amazing,” he said.

Luke knew there was a ‘weird piece’ of his wall but says it’s ‘crazy’ that he found a piece of history (Photo: Luke Budworth/SWNS)
The book where the paintings come from (Photo: Luke Budworth/SWNS)

He hopes to raise money for conservation and has urged other people in Micklegate to ‘look suspiciously at their own walls’.

Historic England helped cover the friezes to preserve them.

A spokesman for Historic England said: “We think they are of national importance and in the context of York, where home murals are quite rare, they are of special importance.”

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