Pagan Traditions: Mysteries of medieval graffiti in England’s churches
By Neil Heath | BBC
Medieval graffiti of straw kings, pentagrams, crosses, ships and "demon traps" have been offering a tantalising glimpse into England’s past. What do the pictures reveal about life in the Middle Ages?
A project to record the graffiti, which began in Norfolk, has now been rolled out to other areas and is gradually spreading across England.
Armed with just a torch and a camera, a team of volunteers have recorded more than 28,000 images from churches in Norfolk alone and are a third of the way through searching Norwich Cathedral, where there are many more examples.
Although the drawings discovered so far undoubtedly offer an insight into the minds of some - possibly bored - churchgoers in the Middle Ages, their precise meaning is not always clear.
For instance, on the walls near the entrance to Cranwell Parish Church, in Lincolnshire, there is a figure identified as "the straw man".
Brian Porter, Lincolnshire’s medieval graffiti project co-ordinator, believes the figure to be a pagan fertility symbol, possibly etched before a May Day celebration.
The "straw king" (left) was possibly a pagan fertility symbol while medieval graffiti artists also made use of other figures (right)
In pre-Christian tradition the "straw man" was made out of the previous year’s crop and then eventually burned, with the ashes scattered across the fields.
Mr Porter said he believed the church "couldn’t stamp out" the Pagan traditions of parishioners and probably grew tired of rubbing the graffiti away.
It raises a tantalising prospect. Could it be that beneath the Christian veneer, an older tradition was still being actively pursued, perhaps in a deliberately subversive way?
Matt Champion, a medieval archaeologist who began the project in Norfolk in 2010, says there are a variety of different theories and care is needed when interpreting the drawings.
"Brian could be right," he says.
"But we have different perspectives. To be honest, I’ve yet to come across a genuine pagan symbol. Not all [Christians at the time] were closet pagans."
Mr Champion said he was surprised by how much graffiti had been found so far and the way in which the project had caught the public imagination.
Churches are being searched by volunteers in Suffolk, Kent, East Sussex, Surrey and Lincolnshire and the scheme is set to move into Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire in the near future.
"[Medieval graffiti] was believed to be rare - turns out it’s not," he says.
"It’s a fairly new area of archaeology and it’s like discovering a medieval library buried in your back garden."
Mr Champion said the medieval church was incredibly superstitious.
"They believed evil floated around you and demons were waiting to latch on to your soul," he says. "The evil eye was something real."
He explained that some circles could have been drawn to act as "demon traps".
Read the full article at: bbc.com
Archaeologists unearth ‘unparalleled’ pre-Christian temple in Norway
Is IMF Chief Christine Lagarde delivering an occult message in this speech?
Easter - Christian or Pagan?
Mummy Found With Christian Tattoo Of Archangel Michael On Inner Thigh
Pagan revival - Danish Asatru documentary
Pagans in South Africa Defy Religious Discrimination
Yggdrasil in Norse Mythology
Discovery of Hammer of Thor artifact solves mystery of Viking amulets
America’s Stonehenge May Be 4,000 Years Old—Did Celts Build It?
Ancient Celtic Geo-Wizards Plotted Real ’Middle Earth’
Boy etches graffiti into Egyptian Temple of Luxor: Sparks Outrage
Symbols, and the "Graffiti Code Breaker"
Latest News from our Front Page
ABC Is Hiding Details of Killer Vester Flanagan's Manifesto ...(Must Be Littered With Liberal Propaganda)
Killer Vester Flanagan was a big Obama supporter.
But, you’d never know it from the liberal media.
The media is hiding Flanagan’s political leanings from the American public.
ABC has yet to release Flanagan’s manifesto.
It must be littered with embarrassing liberal propaganda.
The Tatler reported, via Instapundit:
Two days ago, ABC News reported that Vester Flanagan, the murderer of two WDBJ employees, sent a 23-page ...
Austria, Libya count dead as number of migrants crossing Mediterranean soars
Austria said on Friday 71 refugees including a baby girl were found dead in an abandoned freezer truck, while Libya recovered the bodies of 82 migrants washed ashore after their overcrowded boat sank on its way to Europe and scores more were feared dead.
The U.N. refugee agency said the number of refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean to reach Europe ...
Financial Times Calls For Abolishing Cash
liminating physical currency necessary to give central banks more power
The Financial Times has published an anonymous article which calls for the abolition of cash in order to give central banks and governments more power.
Entitled The case for retiring another ‘barbarous relic’, the article laments the fact that people are stockpiling cash in anticipation of another economic collapse, a factor which ...
Serbian government bans anti-mass immigration protests, and plans ahead for mass immigration
Nebojsa Stefanovic, Serbia’s Interior Minister said protesters who are concerned about “an EU plan” to settle thousands of illegal immigrants into the country, will not be allowed to voice their concerns in a protest march on Monday, 31st of August.
“We will not allow the expression of intolerance and hatred to be something that is characteristic of Serbia” said Stefanovic.
“The Ministry ...
Germany asks Facebook to remove 'racist' anti-migrant posts
Heiko Maas, Germany's justice minister, says social network should remove xenophobic posts in the same way it deals with nudity
Germany is calling on Facebook to remove “xenophobic and racist” anti-migrant posts from its website and apps.
Heiko Maas, the German justice minister, has written to the company to demand an urgent review of its policy over hate messages.
“Photos of certain ...
|More News » |