Sources show that John Wesley occupied rooms in Chapel Quad staircase 5 during his time at Lincoln. The artwork in this image is the original wall decoration from the early 17th century construction of this quadrangle. Wesley’s original rooms feature this wall painting which depicts an image with strong religious iconography. The largest figure is a bird, likely to be a cockerel. This alludes to the repentance of Peter following his denial of Jesus (Matthew 26: 73-75), with a rooster symbolising the Passion. A snake appears to its right, which can exemplify evil or sin.
Another interpretation may be that both animals combined could represent a basilisk: part rooster and part reptile. Another painted layer of a later date portrays two small brown animals, possibly weasels. These are situated on either side of a plinth at the bottom of the image, perhaps supporting a coat of arms no longer extant.
Image: 17th century wall art in John Wesley’s former rooms