The Ladder of Salvation mural on the West Wall of Chaldon church (near Caterham in Surrey) dates from around 1200. It's one of the best preserved Romanesque murals in England- and a comprehensive guide to the medieval afterlife.
Chaldon church is tiny and scrubby. It's often the smallest churches- the ones that were never upgraded or over-restored- that contain the most remarkable things...
Murderers are roasted in bulk
Various sins are punished in Hell. The man being pitchforked is a usurer (banker) Look closely and you can see he is vomiting money.
The Brig o' Dread- dishonest workmen cross a saw-toothed bridge
Stairway to Heaven
The three Marys under angelic escort
The Harrowing of Hell. Christ tramples the Devil and rescues the souls of the just.
St Michael is weighing souls, the Devil tries to tip the balance
I've never understood how these themes are effective, regardless of how fantastic the artwork depicting them is. I always come away from it thinking: OK, so the path to Heaven is hard, few succeed at it, Hell is your more likely destination and LORD is it horrible!
That's a pyramid scheme I can get behind - sign me up! (not)