A man has revealed how he discovered a 400-year-old mural hidden in plain sight on a wall in his apartment.
Dr Luke Budworth, 29, was shocked to discover a series of friezes at his home in Micklegate, North Yorkshire.
Earlier this year, the medical researcher – who works at the University of Leeds – welcomed builders into his home to have a new kitchen installed.
While working at the property, the team discovered the first piece of the painting – which features scenes from a 1635 book called Emblems written by poet Francis Quarles.
Luke explained: “The first people to find it originally were the kitchen fitters who saw it under my kitchen cupboard.
Dr Luke Budworth, 29, pictured with the 400-year-old painting at his flat in Micklegate, North Yorkshire
“When they found it, I know there was a parallel piece of wood on the other side of the chimney that might have the same thing.
“I had never thought of it before, I thought there were pipes behind it.”
Explaining how the mural had been hidden in plain sight for years, he continued: “We always knew there was a weird piece of the wall, but we just thought the apartment was really wonky, because it was a million different things over the years.”
The history buff, originally from Cheshire, says he was originally drawn to Yorkshire because of its cultural significance.
After discovering a piece of history in his own home, Luke says he couldn’t help but start tearing up the layers of wallpaper to uncover more of the 17th century painting.
He continued: ‘At first I thought it was old Victorian wallpaper, but soon I could see it was actually drawn on the wall of the building next door – so it’s older than that building itself. -even.
“It is believed to date from around the 1660s, so from the time of the Civil War.
“It’s crazy to think it was here before things like the Great Fire of London and things like that.”
Dr Budworth is now hoping to secure funding for conservation work to be carried out on the painting
The mural features scenes from a 1635 book called Emblems written by poet Francis Quarles (pictured)
After discovering all the friezes in his apartment, Luke now hopes obtain funding for conservation work to be carried out on the painting and help learn more about the social history of the area.
He continued: ‘I’m so glad I found them and love them, but they’re also a bit of a burden. From what I understand there is no external funding and the curatorial costs are in the thousands of pounds.
“I’ve covered them for now so direct sunlight doesn’t hit them and cause them to lose their color.”
Until then, he currently has a replica of the historic artwork on display in his home office.
Luke added: “We printed a high resolution version of it and placed the replica on top to cover them.
Until he secured the funding, Dr. Budworth displayed the mural in his home office and covered it with a replica of the painting so that light would not damage it.
Historic England said the painting was an “exciting rediscovery” and that Luke’s mural was “of particular interest”
“Hopefully we can get the word out and see if any companies or PhD students want to do experimental conservation projects.
“I also hope this inspires other people on Micklegate to start looking at their own walls with suspicion.”
Historic England’s senior architectural investigator for the Northern Region, said Luke’s friezes are an “exciting rediscovery”.
‘We believe they are of national importance and in the context of York, where domestic wall paintings are quite rare, they are of particular interest,’ he said.
A Historic England spokesman said: ‘We believe they are of national significance and in the context of York, where domestic wall paintings are quite rare, they are of particular interest.’