Stonehenge, Wiltshire

Stonehenge, Wiltshire

Stonehenge, Wiltshire If there is ever a place on this website that needs no introduction, then Stonehenge has to be it. There has been a monument there for five thousand years. The current configuration (allowing for modern restoration and reconstruction) dates back to 1930-1600 BCE. The World Heritage site gets over a million visitors a…

St Botolph’s, Hadstock, Essex

St Botolph’s, Hadstock, Essex

St Botolph’s, Hadstock, Essex The current building of St Botolph’s in the village of Hadstock dates back to 1020 when King Cnut ordered it to be built to after the battle of Assundun in 1016. There is evidence of an earlier Saxon church on the same site, possibly belonging to an abbey founded by St…

July Miscellany

July Miscellany

July Miscellany Our pictures this month are graffiti found by friend of the site, Sonia Hines, on her visit to Uluru (aka Ayres Rock), Northern Territory, Australia. She says this is graffiti, not rock art, and would have been done in the 1970s and 1980s when tourism around this sacred site was a lot less…

St Andrew, Bulmer, Essex

St Andrew, Bulmer, Essex

St Andrew, Bulmer, Essex The church of St Andrew in Bulmer dates to the 12th century. The north arcade in the nave is of 14th century origin. The font, with a fine green man on one face, dates to the 15th century. There are three figures featured in the graffiti in the church. A soldier,…

St Botolph, Beauchamp Roding, Essex

St Botolph, Beauchamp Roding, Essex

St Botolph, Beauchamp Roding, Essex The church of St Botolph stands high and alone on a ridge near the village of Beauchamp Roding. The church dates back to the 14th century. There is a marker stone in the churchyard which is counted as part of The Puddingstone Trail, with  folklore attached to the stone. Apparently…

St Andrew’s, Wormingford, Essex

St Andrew’s, Wormingford, Essex

St Andrew’s, Wormingford, Essex Wormingford, in North Essex has its own version of the George and the Dragon story. In Wormingford’s case, however, it is not Saint George, but Sir George of Layer de la Haye who slew, not a dragon but an escaped ‘cokadrille’ or crocodile. This ‘dragoun’, a gift to Richard I for…

June Miscellany

June Miscellany

June Miscellany Upcoming Events Talk at Leicester Guildhall in July. Hidden Charms Conference call for papers. Tickets are available for the Making Your Mark symposium. Items of Interest Prehistoric Stone engraved with horses found in France. Helmsdale Castle graffiti.      

St Mary, Bures, Suffolk

St Mary, Bures, Suffolk

St Mary, Bures, Suffolk The village of Bures is divided by the River Stour and, as the river functions as the border between Essex and Suffolk, the village is part in Suffolk and part in Essex. The church of St Mary falls on the Suffolk side of the border. It is always nice to see…

St Mary Magdalene, Stockbury, Kent

St Mary Magdalene, Stockbury, Kent

St Mary Magdalene, Stockbury, Kent St Mary Magdalene is a relatively small church built alongside the remains of a Norman motte and bailey castle, which overlooks the Stockbury Valley and Dean’s Bottom, a smaller valley that runs into it. The building originates from the late 12th century with 13th and 15th century additions; and was…

May Miscellany

May Miscellany

May Miscellany Some faces from the past this month… Events and Dates for the Diary There is still time to submit abstracts for the Making Your Mark Symposium. The deadline is 14th June 2019 for  the call for papers and poster submissions. The book launch for ‘Magical House Protection‘ by Brian Hoggard of Apotropaios is…

April Miscellany

April Miscellany

April Miscellany Pictures Under the heading of ‘Not Quite Medieval’ come these coin holes from the old Dominion Cinema on the corner of Buxton Road and Mission Grove in Walthamstow, London. The coin holes show where people queueing for the cinema have ground coins into the brickwork, making these distinctive round holes.  Items of Interest…

St Barnabas, Alphamstone, Essex

St Barnabas, Alphamstone, Essex

St Barnabas, Alphamstone, Essex The little village of Alphamstone is recorded in the Domesday Book, but there is archaeological evidence that there was a settlement nearby in the bronze age The churchyard has several sandstone sarsen stones which may or may not have formed a stone circle. This is not the only mystery. The church…

St Mary’s, Stebbing, Essex (2/2)

St Mary’s, Stebbing, Essex (2/2)

St Mary’s, Stebbing, Essex (2/2) Stebbing church has several compass designs ranging from simple circles to elaborate daisy wheels with mulitple petals. There are a range of protective marks throughout the church including Marian marks, pentagrams and butterfly crosses. The crosses in St Mary’s are mostly of a plain, latin type with a couple of…

Event: Book Launch – Magical House Protection – The Archaeology of Counter-Witchcraft

Event: Book Launch – Magical House Protection – The Archaeology of Counter-Witchcraft

Brian Hoggard’s book Magical House Protection – The Archaeology of Counter-Witchcraft will be launched in Pershore, Worcestershire on Sunday 30th June. Join Brian and other enthusiasts at St Andrew’s Parish Centre. Church Walk, Pershore, WR10 1DT. Every attendee will receive a limited edition numbered enamel badge of the Apotropaios logo and the hard cover first…

St Katharine, Little Bardfield, Essex

St Katharine, Little Bardfield, Essex

St Katharine, Little Bardfield, Essex The tower of St Katharine is pre-Conquest, but the tower arch is 15th century and this where the graffiti within the church is located. Despite it’s early origins, the 19th century interior restoration was extensive and very little graffiti was left at the end of it. While most of the…

March Miscellany

March Miscellany

March Miscellany Welcome to this month’s roundup of items of interest from the internet and twitter feeds. Pictures We have a little game of compare and contrast here – with two pipe smokers! One is from Gloucester Cathedral and the other is from St Mary’s church in Elsenham, Essex. Remember people, smoking is bad, no…

St Mary, Moreton, Essex

St Mary, Moreton, Essex

St Mary the Virgin, Moreton, Essex The church of St Mary stands on a mound to the east side of the little village of Moreton in Essex. The construction of the current building dates to the 13th and 15th century with the tower being added in the late 18th century. The font is 12th century…

February Miscellany

February Miscellany

February Miscellany Creswell Crags Round Up The big news in February was the discovery of a large number of protective marks in the caves at Creswell Crags. It hit the national and international press. A roundup of the coverage from online sources is listed below: The Times Cave Explorers Make Spellbinding Discovery   ITV News The Gateway…

All Saints, Kingston, London

All Saints, Kingston, London

All Saints, Kingston, London All Saints church in Kingston on Thames sits to the north of the market place as it has done since the 12th century. The church has been updated and renovated throughout the centuries, with the subsequent loss of a lot of its graffiti. There is some still hanging on, though, despite…

St Laurence, Ridgewell, Essex (2/2)

St Laurence, Ridgewell, Essex (2/2)

St Laurence, Ridgewell, Essex (2/2) St Laurence church has several compass drawn circle designs, including a very clear daisy wheel and an unusually long sequence of linked compass drawn circles. There is a large incomplete daisy wheel by the west door in the tower, it is obscured behind an old noticeboard. ” template=”/var/sites/r/rakinglight.co.uk/public_html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/ngglegacy/view/gallery-caption.php” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC”…

Devon, St Andrew Stokeinteignhead

Devon, St Andrew Stokeinteignhead

Devon, St Andrew Stokeinteignhead The church of St Andrew at Stokeinteignhead, South Devon, stands slightly above the surrounding cottages on the rising ground of a steep valley, which here widens out sufficiently to allow the formation of a village centre. The setting is constrained by the landscape, so that the relationship between church, church house…

January Miscellany

January Miscellany

January Miscellany Playing Games in a Cave Cavers are used to seeing marks on cave walls, from calcite flows to mineral stains and all sorts of unusual pits and protuberances. Those found in a cave in Azerbaijan proved to have a different provenance. The markings are man-made and represent a game board similar to backgammon,…

St Andrew’s, Buckland, Hertfordshire

St Andrew’s, Buckland, Hertfordshire

St Andrew’s, Buckland, Hertfordshire The nave and chancel of this Churches Conservation Trust church date to 1348. The tower, south aisle, porch and south door are from the 1400s. There is a bird of unidentified species, several harps and a heraldic shield. ” template=”/var/sites/r/rakinglight.co.uk/public_html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/ngglegacy/view/gallery-caption.php” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″] Notable among the protective marks is a…

St Mary, Kenardington, Kent

St Mary, Kenardington, Kent

The Porch of St Mary Kenardington Alan Anstee of the Kent Medieval Graffiti Survey pays a visit to an old haunt and describes the fascinating porch of St Mary’s church in Kenardington, Kent. St Mary, Kenardington is a small church with medieval origins near Ashford in Kent. Kenardington is a scattered hamlet consisting of clusters…

December Miscellany

December Miscellany

December Miscellany There’s a definite international feel to this month’s miscellany with interesting knotwork used a ritual markings in Tamil Nadu and graffiti from Spain, France and Gozo, Malta. We would also like to take the opportunity to wish our readers health, wealth and happiness in the coming year. Picture of the Month Thanks to…

All Saints, Maldon, Essex

All Saints, Maldon, Essex

All Saints, Maldon, Essex The town of Maldon, of sea salt fame, has been a settlement on the Blackwater Estuary since Saxon times. The church of All Saints dates back to the 12th century. Its unique feature is a triangular tower. While there is not a huge amount of graffiti in the church there is…

November Miscellany

November Miscellany

November Miscellany Graffiti in Paintings We have come across a small handful of 17th and 16th century paintings showing graffiti. This picture, Interior of the Buukerk at Utrecht (1644) by Peter Saenredam actually shows graffiti being painted. If you focus on the bottom right of the picture (which hangs in the National Gallery in London)…

St Andrews, Halstead, Essex

St Andrews, Halstead, Essex

St Andrews, Halstead, Essex St Andrews church is in the centre of Halstead, a market town in Essex. The church dates back to the 14th and 15th centuries. There were no major alterations until 1850 when the west end was extended and the tower added. This 1850 alteration appears to have removed any graffiti in…

St Nicholas, Castle Hedingham, Essex

St Nicholas, Castle Hedingham, Essex

St Nicholas, Castle Hedingham, Essex Castle Hedingham, despite being in Essex, was the ancestral home of the de Vere family, the Earls of Oxford. Not surprisingly, the village shows all the signs of medieval prosperity, which is also reflected in the large parish church. St Nicholas church dates back to the 12th century with some…

St John the Baptist, Pebmarsh, Essex

St John the Baptist, Pebmarsh, Essex

St John the Baptist, Pebmarsh, Essex   The church of St John the Baptist, Essex, was built in the 14th century and restored in the 19th.    ” template=”/var/sites/r/rakinglight.co.uk/public_html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/ngglegacy/view/gallery-caption.php” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]   Apart from a small amount of graffiti on a the western most column in the north arcade, everything else is around the south…

October Miscellany

October Miscellany

October Miscellany Items of Interest Prehistoric art hints at lost Indian civilisation WW2 aircraft graffiti from Suffolk Sensational rune stone find New graffiti from Pompeii may help with dating of Vesuvius eruption Graffiti in Olde Boar’s Head pub in Middleton Soldier smoke stencil graffiti at Bewick The report of the graffiti in Souillac in the…

September Miscellany

September Miscellany

September Miscellany Here is September’s round-up of graffiti and related items of interest on the internet. Items of Interest Brief article about medieval graffiti.    Atlas Obscura references possible Templar graffiti at Newark Castle.    Runic graffiti at Maes Howe in Orkney    AI Can Now Decipher Medieval Graffiti   Oldest known drawing    Graffiti…

August Miscellany

August Miscellany

August Miscellany This month’s roundup has some old stones making their first appearances in years thanks to the drought and some graffiti found on a museum exhibit. In the news BBC video on Lincoln Cathedral Graffiti   Pictish stone found in river   Report on graffiti in the Ripon Gazette   ‘Hunger Stones’ revealed in…

St Nicholas, Elmdon, Essex

St Nicholas, Elmdon, Essex

St Nicholas, Elmdon, Essex St Nicholas church in Elmdon Essex has a 15th century tower, but the rest of the church was completely rebuilt in the 19th century. This has wiped the nave and chancel clear of graffiti barring a few faint initials on the 16th century tomb of Thomas Meade in the chancel.  …

St Michael de Rupe, Brentor, Devon

St Michael de Rupe, Brentor, Devon

St Michael de Rupe, Brentor, Devon The phrase first coined by John Aubrey, of eighteenth century antiquarian fame, that a great many churches dedicated to St Michael are situated on high ground, has become something of a cliché – a cliché pretty well upheld by the stunning locations of some of the churches dedicated to…

July Miscellany

July Miscellany

Events Day course on Graffiti in August – in Edinburgh    Crystal Hollis graffiti talk in London on 8 August  Items of Interest Database of Romanesque Sites in Britain and Ireland WW2 graffiti in Bayeux  More WW2 graffiti at Bayeux German POW graffiti from WW1 Sharpening Marks If you have ever sighed at someone explaining…

St Mary and St Clement, Clavering, Essex (2/4)

St Mary and St Clement, Clavering, Essex (2/4)

St Mary and St Clement, Clavering, Essex (2/4) South Arcade The south arcade of St Mary and St Clement has an abundance of exciting graffiti. ” template=”/var/sites/r/rakinglight.co.uk/public_html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/ngglegacy/view/gallery-caption.php” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″] There are several compass drawn and hand drawn circle designs of varying complexity in the south arcade. The most notable of which are one…

June Miscellany

June Miscellany

June Miscellany   This is June’s edition of monthly posts where we feature items of interest from a variety of sites and some links we’ve come across during the month. Even if you only have a single photo from a site, do send it in with details of where it was taken, so we can…

Saint Michael the Archangel in pre-Reformation England, and implications for the ‘butterfly cross’ graffito

Saint Michael the Archangel in pre-Reformation England, and implications for the ‘butterfly cross’ graffito

Saint Michael the Archangel in pre-Reformation England, and implications for the ‘butterfly cross’ graffito The mark commonly known as the butterfly cross is just one of the many perplexing symbols left on historic stone and woodwork by past generations. In form it tends to resemble a bow-tie shape, simply cut with two upright ends and…

St Mary’s, Charminster, Dorset

St Mary’s, Charminster, Dorset

St Mary’s, Charminster, Dorset St Mary’s church at Charminster is an 11th century church, extended and improved in the 14th and 16th centuries by the local Trenchard family. The monogram of Thomas Trenchard made up of spirally intertwined Ts is visible in carvings and plaques throughout the church interior and exterior. The are two compass…

St Nicholas, Studland, Dorset

St Nicholas, Studland, Dorset

St Nicholas, Studland, Dorset The church of St Nicholas in Studland in the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset is a simple Norman structure. Built in the 11th century on the base of an earlier Saxon structure, it consists of a nave, chancel and sanctuary. The round arches are simply carved with none of the dog tooth…

Skull and Crossbones Hole, Thrupp, Nr Stroud, Gloucestershire

Skull and Crossbones Hole, Thrupp, Nr Stroud, Gloucestershire

Skull and Crossbones Hole, Thrupp, Nr Stroud, Gloucestershire Skull and Crossbones Hole in Mackhouse Wood Quarry, Thrupp, near Stroud was located earlier this year by members of the Gloucestershire Speleological Society. An alternative name is Mackhouse Wood no 2. ” template=”/var/sites/r/rakinglight.co.uk/public_html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/ngglegacy/view/gallery-caption.php” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″] The mine contains a large slab of stone with a…

St Andrews Church, Great Yeldham, Essex

St Andrews Church, Great Yeldham, Essex

St Andrews Church, Great Yeldham, Essex St Andrews church in Great Yeldham, Essex appears in Violet Pritchard’s English Medieval Graffiti. Unfortunately, the three intertwined fish she describes cannot be seen. All the columns and piers have been whitewashed, so this may be hiding the design. A compass drawn quatrefoil is clearly visible on one of…

All Saints, Rickling, Essex

All Saints, Rickling, Essex

All Saints, Rickling, Essex All Saints Church, Rickling is an interesting church in more ways than one. For a start, the nave and the chancel are on slightly different alignments, which indicates an earlier plan than the current 14th Century one. The graffiti, also has some unique elements including compass circles of hitherto unseen design…

West Ogwell Church, Devon

West Ogwell Church, Devon

West Ogwell Church, Devon West Ogwell Church is a 13th century church, now redundant and in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. It has a simple, whitewashed interior with box pews. The only visible graffiti is on a single limestone block beside the door. There are some Marian marks, initials, dot patterns and hash…

Holy Cross, Felsted, Essex

Holy Cross, Felsted, Essex

Holy Cross, Felsted, Essex Holy Cross is a wide, light-filled church built in the 12th century with additions and alterations in the 14th and 16th centuries. There have been renovations in the 19th and 20th centuries. These later renovations have removed some of the graffiti, but there is still a substantial amount, especially on the…

May Miscellany

May Miscellany

May Miscellany This is the first of a series of monthly posts where we feature items of interest from a variety of sites and some links we’ve come across during the month. Even if you only have a single photo from a site, do send it in with details of where it was taken, so…

St Mary’s, Kingskerwell, Devon

St Mary’s, Kingskerwell, Devon

St Mary’s, Kingskwerwell, Devon   St Mary’s parish church in Kingskerswell was built in the 14th century with additions in the 15th century and is on the site of an earlier chapel.  There are only a few examples of graffiti in the church. They are to be found on the effigies of Sir John Dinham and…

Holy Trinity, Burrington, Somerset

Holy Trinity, Burrington, Somerset

Holy Trinity, Burrington, Somerset Holy Trinity Church, Burrington, Somerset is a Grade 1 Listed Building dating from the 13th century. The tower, which dates from 1250 to 1320, is the oldest part of the current building and is believed to have been built on the site of an earlier church. The church was restored in…

St Mary the Virgin, Elsenham, Essex

St Mary the Virgin, Elsenham, Essex

St Mary the Virgin, Elsenham, Essex St Mary the Virgin is a charming church, close to Stansted Airport, out of the village of Elsenham and up a single-track lane. Pevsner praises its Norman windows and doorway. It was visited by Violet Pritchard, who noted some text with a face carved into the capital letter. There…

St Mary’s Church, Wolborough, Devon

St Mary’s Church, Wolborough, Devon

  St Mary’s Church, Wolborough, Devon St Mary’s, Wolborough dates from the 15th century, although the west tower is earlier. Contents include an ornate screen of circa 1518 and a Norman font. The church stands on a hill, commanding a view of the Teign estuary. There is little graffiti in the church. It consists of a…

St Saviour, Dartmouth, Devon

St Saviour, Dartmouth, Devon

St Saviour’s Church, Dartmouth, Devon St. Saviour’s was dedicated as a Chapel of Ease in 1372, but it may be earlier in date. The church was enlarged in the late 14th/early 15th century and has been repaired and refurbished several times since. It is described as having one of the best interiors in Devon. Features…

St Blaise, Haccombe, Devon

St Blaise, Haccombe, Devon

St Blaise, Haccombe, Devon Haccombe parish church of St. Blaise, dedicated by Stephen de Haccombe, whose tomb lies here, was built in 1233, probably as a household chapel. Enlarged in the early English style in 1328, it contains a freestone screen, an octagonal font, a three-pointed sedilia, a 19th century chancel screen, tiles bearing coats…

St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol

St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol

St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol St Mary Redcliffe is an Anglican parish church in Redcliffe, Bristol, and is one of the largest parish churches in England. The church was constructed from the 12th to the 15th centuries, and has been a place of Christian worship for over 900 years. The church is renowned for its beautiful…

St Mary the Virgin, Henbury, Bristol

St Mary the Virgin, Henbury, Bristol

St Mary the Virgin, Henbury, Bristol St Mary the Virgin is a Church of England parish church in Henbury, Bristol. Construction of the present building took place in the 13th century with later restoration work carried out in the 19th century by the Gothic revival architects Thomas Rickman and George Edward Street. The church has…

Exeter Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire

Exeter Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire

Exeter Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire How do you photograph graffiti from a long-demolished building? In the case of the stones from the Old Sarum cathedral and castle site (demolished in the 13th century) you can go to Exeter St in Salisbury and find them making up part of the cathedral precinct wall. Now it’s not normally advisable…

The Temple Church, London

The Temple Church, London

The Temple Church, London It can be hard being a graffiti hunter in London. There have been three waves of destruction visited upon the medieval buildings of the City of London. There was the Great Fire of 1666, which destroyed so much of the old structure of the city. Then there were the Georgians and…

St Mary Church, Chickney, Essex

St Mary Church, Chickney, Essex

St Mary Church, Chickney, Essex The church of St Mary in Chickney, Essex is a Churches Conservation Trust church you approach down a single track road off the B1051. There is a small parking bay outside the churchyard. The church goes back to Saxon times with additions through the years and major restoration in the…