Medieval hunting scenes


Artist: Alfred Overton
Where to find: Level 2 main corridor, SDH North

Pictured is one of the mural panels, painted by Alfred Overton, which decorated the nurse’s dining room at Salisbury Infirmary. These artworks were transferred to Salisbury District Hospital in the 1990s and restored in 2002 with donations from the Salisbury Nurses’ League.

An article from the ‘Salisbury Journal’ of October 7 1949 described the new murals thus:

“One of the features of the renovation and redecoration of Salisbury Infirmary – and perhaps the most popular among the nursing staff – is the series of mural paintings in the spacious staff dining hall, which is now provided with the latest equipment. Six murals – two of which are 12 feet long and 8 feet high – represent the road between Old and New Sarum in the early 15th Century. They are the work of Mr Alfred Overton, the artist, of Exeter Street, Salisbury. Painted in oils, the murals lend an attractive air to the dining hall and were visualised as a form of decoration by the former Management Committee in 1947. On one side of the dining hall a mural shows Old Sarum in the background, with an early 15th-century wagon trundling along the road carrying passengers to New Sarum. Smaller panels on each side depict a labourer with a scythe and nobles practising archery.The journey is continued in the main panel on the other side of the hall, which shows a number of horsemen and people on foot making toward New Sarum across typical downland, with a village in the background. A minstrel plays a lute by the side of the highway. In another panel Mr Overton has painted a group of mounted knights looking down at New Sarum, with the cathedral in the background. The knights are emblazoned with the arms of Radnor, Pembroke and Feversham. The panel on the other side of the centre mural shows a hawking party of nobles and their ladies. With the arms of Queensberry included on the uniform of foot soldiers in the panel depicting Old Sarum, Mr Overton has provided a reminder of the history attached to the names of Radnor, Pembroke, Feversham and Queensberry given to wards in the Infirmary. In addition to the panels that are 12 feet long, two others are 8 feet long and the remaining two, 3 feet long. They are set against walls painted in shades of grey, cream and white. The newly decorated dining hall was reopened last week.”