‘The Medieval & Historic Graffiti in the Borough of Swale’

Friday 3rd February 2023, @ 7.30pm £5

An Illustrated Talk by Wayne Perkins

‘In person‘ only

Sheppey Little Theatre, Meyrick Road, Sheerness ME12 2NX

Effigy of the ‘Unknown Yorkist,’ Minster Abbey, Isle of Sheppey. Photo © W Perkins 2020.

The Swale encompasses the Isle of Sheppey as well as the towns of Sittingbourne & Faversham, all of whom have their own array of unique churches. Surveys undertaken in these ancient buildings have recorded a fascinating corpus of medieval and historic graffiti (including inscriptions and figurative art) which will be discussed in this illustrated talk.

Many of the marks are so-called ‘ritual protection marks’ – also known as ‘apotropaics’ (from the Greek, ‘to turn away evil’) whose purpose appears to have been was to defend the buildings against evil spirits, to protect them from the evil eye and, in some cases, to act as counter-witchcraft measures.

Many of the apotropaic marks concentrate around the doors and windows of the Abbey Minster Gatehouse. Photo: © W Perkins 2021

The talk will begin with a study of the medieval buildings within the area of the Swale and then expand the discussion to compare the corpus of graffiti and inscriptions with regional, national and international examples.

Hosted by: Sheppey Little Theatre


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