Just by chance, Molly Drew discovered a hidden treasure in 1945. The painted face of a man looked down upon her, where the ceiling plaster of her cottage outhouse had fallen down. This face had not seen the light of day, for some six hundred years or more.
This image became known as the “Templecombe Head,” a face amidst red, blue and green paint, faintly visible, painted on wooden panels, and supported by wire.
Bishop Wright the local Rector, removed the painting for cleaning and restoration. In 1956 the painting was presented to St.Mary’s Church in Templecombe.
The image is that of a bearded man, either Jesus Christ or John the Baptist. The style and detail of the painting are of a devotional style, but lacks signs of divinity; a halo or description.
How it came to be there, is anyone’s guess, but the area was the home of the Knights Templar. With large scale arrests taking place and properties being searched. Someone wanted to hide this simple painting, with the hope of retrieving it later… but that was not to be.
With the suppression of the Knights Templar, their lands and property fell into the hands of the Knights Hospitaller, who in turn lost it, when they backed the Pope not Henry VIII during England’s Tudor reign.