Simon Schema’s A History of Britain was great TV when it aired years ago, and many of its episodes are now available on YouTube.

Schema’s treatment of the English Reformation is fascinating, and evocative of Eamon Duffy’s Stripping of the Altars.

Whether or not you’re interested in history documentaries, take a look at this short clip:

It’s ironic that Catholics themselves took to white washing churches in the twentieth century — not because of iconoclasm, but because of financial constraints. It’s much cheaper to paint over stencil work, than to restore it.

White space in web design is one thing; white walls in gothic churches is quite another!

Fortunately, the move towards restoration over renovation in the last 20 years has seen some of this whitewashing reversed. St Mary Star of the Sea in West Melbourne is perhaps the most outstanding example in Australia.

To be honest, I think some of the stencil work and colours at St Mary’s are garish, and I suspect that the original interior was a little more subtle. Even so, the restoration is a massive improvement on the “pea soup” look of the 1960s renovations.