Doctoral Researcher Chris Pickup from Nottingham Trent University has brought the Flawford Virgin back to its former glory using innovative technology.

The figure, which dates back to the 1380s, is one of three alabaster figures found at Flawford village in 1779.

Back in the winter of 2017, researchers from Nottingham Trent University set up their mobile lab in an attempt to unravel some of the mysteries surrounding the sculpture. Records at the time say the figures were brightly coloured, but say little else.

Exciting findings came when Nottingham Trent University’s ISAAC Lab team investigated the figure. A moveable light technique enabled an assessment of the damage to the figure, shedding light on what may have happened during its long and mysterious history. Their investigation culminated in the use of visible reflectance spectroscopy and XRF analysis to reveal the figures original colours.

The research, which helped inform a 10 minute video on the history of this incredible collection item, is now available to view in full here.

The Flawford Virgin is currently on display in the Early Nottingham Craft Gallery at Nottingham Castle. Access to the gallery is included in a general admission ticket, which you can purchase here.

We would also like to give special thanks to the team at Nottingham City Museum and Galleries for their support in delivering this project.