Saturday 9th April 2022
Hosted by the Simon de Montfort Society
The tour will commence at 11.00am with a two-hour duration. Meet 10.30am Orto Coffe Lounge, Evesham Market Square.
This event is part of ‘Graffiti Fest 2022’ which includes a talk to the Simon de Montfort Society on the 7th April & one to the Badsey Society at St James’ church, Badsey on the 8th April.
At 2.30pm on the 7th the Evesham Abbey Trust will open the Abbey site for an update on their work and detail their future projects to rehabilitate this ‘lost’ treasure.
The study of medieval graffiti has been in the ascendant recently, with popular books published on the subject. These mainstream publications have helped to disseminate the new interpretative frameworks and ideas which are the culmination of the last thirty years of academic research into medieval inscriptions. The re-evaluation of medieval graffiti has revealed many more subtleties and diverse meanings than hitherto imagined. Furthermore, it is now understood that similar symbols and signs can be found in domestic and farm buildings which echo those found in churches.
Graffiti can span the entire medieval period but appears to peak between AD 1650-1850 at the time of the so-called ‘witch craze’ in Europe. There are many categories now recognised, including masons’ marks, devotional and memorial inscriptions and a whole range of apotropaic symbols now believed to represent elements of ritual building protection.
A recent survey of a random sample of medieval buildings in Worcestershire has revealed a number marks and symbols carved into their masonry and woodwork. Many of these marks have been interpreted as apotropaics; ‘ritual protection marks’ intended to avert the evil-eye, bring good luck, to trap evil spirits and to act, in some cases, as counter-Witchcraft measures.