In September 2015 Artemis were commissioned to prepare a Statement of Significance for the church of St Peter and St Paul, Steeple Aston. Part of the proposed reordering included the relocation of the chancel screen. The screen was believed to be late medieval, restored in 1842 by John Plowman. The DAC minutes (Oxford, 7 December 2015) note the diligence and quality of this Statement of Significance and encourage the parish to commission a further detailed report on the chancel screen.
In February 2016 Artemis undertook this commission. This included: a close examination of the screen's elements; a photographic survey; restoration drawings showing new and old timber; a detailed analysis of the construction of the screen; a review of the literature on the screen and of original documents relating to Plowman's restoration of the church. The conclusion of this work was revelatory. The screen, which is referred to in several publications on medieval screens, was revealed to be a nineteenth-century invention, constructed using large amounts of salvaged medieval material. Rather than being a medieval screen of unusual design it was in fact a nineteenth-century screen made up of medieval elements and supplemented with nineteenth-century material.
What is to happen to the screen has yet to be determined, but whatever the outcome arrived at by the DAC and the parish it will be in the light of a much greater understanding of the fabric and its significance.