St Mary the Virgin, Lindsell, Essex
This is a pretty, but odd-shaped church. It is wider than it is long with the tower in one corner. It is originally Norman with a simple round chancel arch with a large squint on the south side. A large column stands beside the font. The column and the exposed stone on the chancel arch are where the graffiti is to be found.The nave column has been whitewashed, but the prominent graffiti has been wiped clear.
This is a church visited by Violet Pritchard, but not all of the graffiti she reports is still visible. Of the selection she found, only the Paternoster and the priest elevating the host are easily found. Having said that, there are some nice examples of graffiti not in Violet’s book that make this church well worth a visit.
There are two examples of text. The Paternoster is the most visible, but beneath on the same column is part of an alphabet written out.
There are two figures. One is a crude drawing of a priest elevating the host as part of the mass. The other is an even cruder figure, more a head with legs than anything else.
The nave column also has two trees inscribed on it.
The south side of the chancel arch has a really intriguing piece of graffiti. It consists of a spear that has been possibly altered later to look like some kind of poleaxe.
The rest of the graffiti consists of a selection of crosses, a shield and various initials and names. There was only one possible Marian mark, although there is a large compass drawn circle with a possible attempt at a petal for a daisy wheel.
Usually open during daylight hours.
Report by Anthea Hawdon
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