Kings College Chapel, Cambridge
There is a danger in graffiti hunting that you focus so much on the details on the walls and columns that you can fail to appreciate the wider beauty of the structures you are visiting. Here’s a tip, if you go looking for graffiti in King’s College Chapel, before you do anything else, go and stand with you back to the west door and look up! All the graffiti in the world will not compensate for missing that glorious and joyous ceiling of late medieval fan vaulting.
Kings College are happy with photography in the chapel, but not flash photography. This may explain why one of the volunteer guides asked me to put my torch away after a couple of minutes of me graffiti hunting. She also told me that there wasn’t much of ‘that sort of thing’ in the chapel. She was wrong, and, even without a torch, there is much to see and enjoy.
It is also lucky that some of the most intriguing graffiti can been seen without the benefit of a raking light. During the English Civil War, Parliamentarian troops were stationed in Cambridge and complaints were made in 1647 about …bands of Soldiers training and excercising in the Royall Chappell of King Henry the sixth… These bands of soldiers left their mark in the form of painted graffiti on the chancel walls. There is a rider on a horse, a design that most looks like a ragged staff, a sword, a face, names and three pentagrams. There are no other visible symbols – no crosses, no circles, no daisy wheels, just three pentagrams in a protestant context datable to the mid 17th century.
King’s College Chapel
Tickets are £10 (as at 2018) for adults and can be bought at the King’s College Visitor Centre opposite the college on King’s Parade. Check the website for opening times.
Report by Anthea Hawdon
Search terms: THOM, RD, PM, H, I L, TH, William, concentric circles, compass, butterfly cross, IR, CB, TS, dot pattern, merels, T Kendell, 1730s, MM, G Brace, MS, 1741, 1740s, 1700s, TB, WR, RC, 145, pentangle, RFC, M, 1661, compass drawn circles multiple, 1660s, 1600s, 16, TB, R, S, AR, SW, W, dot pattern, WI, WN, ECT, ET, P, IW, T, W, cross, butterfly cross with line, Marian mark, W, A, A, Wh, Lm, 1797, 1790s, I, mason’s mark, W, R Woodbro, Glass signature, post-mill, building, Mason’s mark, intersecting triangles, EP, 1663, WH, Pentangles, five pointed star, HD, S, heraldic shield, T, TB, C, F, IS, TB, BP RH, faint names, Horse and rider, ragged staff?, sword, civil war, TS, ET, faint scratched lines, r, HR, Glaziers advertisement, SW, script, I, X, RN, Peter of Norwich, face, Thomas, Abrahamus, A Roorda, Inhardus Scheltonius Frisius, WA, MSM, W, H, MK, Hy GA, MM, SS, crosses, GE Ham, 88, trefoil leaf, 1635, MP, 1630s, Bench mark symbol, WI, IO, EP, TP, RR, IB, 1671. SW, TA, John Gouge, John Haslip, ECW, WI, April 1661, 1733, 1730s, XX Cross, FW,