All Saints, Ashdon, Essex (2/2)
All Saints church has a number of apotropaic marks on its stonework. It has several of one particular type – the eight pointed star. This has shown up in other churches (most notably in St Mary and St Clement, Clavering). It is described in MB Jackson’s book, Ciphers and Scripts. History and Function of Magick Symbols (Green Magic, 2013) as meaning ‘God and heaven’. However, I have recently found a new description of it in the 18th century Compendium of Demonology and Magic as being a character of Astharets, also known as Ashtoreth or Astarte.
The rest of the apotropaic marks are the usual selection of compass circles, daisy wheels, Marian marks, ladders and grid marks.
The chapel where the organ is sited has a rich collection of graffiti. This includes shoes, grid marks, faces, some script and shields. The organ, which dates to 1905 in its current setting, has the usual list of initials and names of the organ blowers, but also a complete, expanded daisy wheel. It is questionable as to whether that daisy wheel has a protective function or whether it was just a pleasing pattern to draw but the late date makes it significant in either case.
The rest of the graffiti in the church is made up of names and initials. Richard appears to be a recurring name. Another set of initials is that of JH RA 1943. ‘RA’ is properly the signifier of a member of the Royal Academy. However, that organisation had no member with the initials ‘JH’ in 1943. Given the war-time date, I suggest that RA in this case stands for Royal Artillery.
Report by Anthea Hawdon
The church is usually open during daylight hours. There is space for parking along the lane leading to the church.
Search terms: Shoes, grid marks, EM, RM, HM, MM, E Bartram, Age 12, Victorian Stannard, Robert, 1925, RP, A Stone, Age 16, Dec, M Swann, Age 13, 1944, ladder, DLA, JB, Robert Bartram Organ Blower, WC, JW, HE, MM, H Mille, 1973, Organ blowers, ME, BP, CM, JB, BB, DL, T, HE, B, S, AI, SG, BW, TB, HM, IW, TD, WCS, HJE, WC, H, JJ, H Evans, F Bassett, H Evans, Age 18, 1915, S Sawkins, Frank Coate, HJE, EB, HE, W Collins, EB, JW, HM, HE, A Evans, 10, E Lambert, 1924, D Ling, Thurs March 10 1932, 26 Sept, 1932, EL, D Ling, Friday, Sept 18th 1929, 13 Sept, RA, EL, 1931, DF, Organ Blowers, DF, J Bartram, MS, CM, DL JF, AE, Hammond, H Mille, 29 August 1973, DA+IM, HM, HE, HN, HWC, daisy wheel (compass drawn), EL, HB, HD, DB, AB, JH, NB, JF, HF, FD, ED, FD, Shoe, RC, 78, script, sigil, EG, 1940, other marks, Marian mark, W, script, I, T, E, other marks, Shield, W, E, Shield, pentagram, other marks, Script, RF, R, RS, A, SP, WW, PR, L, LKN, IC, IC, IP, I, HW, XX, EW, Richard, E, EF, John, NH, FB, TR, EM Robinson, 1961, WH, IA, W, Script (damaged), M, MB, AS, 24-7-74, 1974, NTB, EJ, AV, M, IT, RR, RI, BE, DR, RM, V, FP, II, ME, TH, IE, WR, 1797, 3, 07:1770, AT, RB, H6, JH, RA, 1943, X, 10, 164, 1619, RF (defaced), Y, YH, HK, 1610, TW, TW, May, script, Jean Biggar, 84, Robert Cole, MN, TF, RT, BR, HC, 1901, 1609, TW, IC, XXXIX, MS, 8, TS 1723, EW, ET, RR, RI, IE, E, R, RH, H, IF, IW, IW, I, T, W, IF, HK, RF, RW, H, IW, IP, W, EM, 1977, 1900s, 1960s, 1970s, 1700s, 1790s, 1770s, 1940s, 1600s, 1610s, 1720s,Circle (compass drawn), unidentified marks, Eight pointed star, figure, script, face, shield, Daisy wheel (compass drawn), quatrefoil, Daisy wheel (compass drawn), Circle (hand drawn), concentric circle (compass drawn), Ladder, Marian mark, W, Grid marks, Star (eight pointed), IS, A, R, Circles (concentric), Pentagram, cross hatching, Diamond pattern, Grid, Marian mark, M, crosses, VL,. Butterfly cross, IH monogram, Overlapping circles (compass drawn), N, medieval graffiti, historic graffiti