St Vivien, Pons, Charente-Maritime, France

Anchor cross

Pons is a town in the Charente-Maritime department of south-west France about 35km from the Atlantic coast of France and half-way between La Rochelle and Bordeaux.  The town was on one of the main pilgrimage routes to Santiago di Compostella.  The Romanesque church of St Vivien dates to the 12th century with modifications in the 15th. 

The church has significant quantities of graffiti both inside and out.

There are several daisy wheels and compass circles on the columns.

Other symbols visible include a merel of nine men’s morris configuration, an anchor cross, other crosses including a saltire, a couple of ships and a possible face.

The rest of the internal graffiti is made up of inscriptions (including one that appears to be in Greek) and names and initials.

The south wall of the church holds the most of the external graffiti (and will possibly show more when not seen under the midday sun!). There are a couple of ships and a couple of faces, one wearing a kepi and one wearing either a bowler hat or a military helmet.

There are a couple of mass dials, some saltires and a merel of three men’s morris design among a scattering of other symbols.

The rest of the graffiti is made up of names and initials.

Report by Anthea Hawdon and Linda Wilson

Eglise St Vivien
9 Pl. St Vivien
17800 Pons

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