Publication Date: 02/07/2015 ISBN: 9780091960414 Category:

Medieval Graffiti

Matthew Champion

Publisher: Ebury Publishing
Publication Date: 02/07/2015 ISBN: 9780091960414 Category:




A fascinating guide to decoding the secret language of the churches of England through the medieval carved markings and personal etchings found on our church walls from archaeologist Matthew Champion.

‘Rare, lovely glimmers of everyday life in the Middle Ages.’ — The Sunday Times
‘A fascinating and enjoyable read’ — ***** Reader review
‘Superb’ — ***** Reader review
‘Riveting’ — ***** Reader review
‘Compelling, moving and fascinating’ — ***** Reader review

Our churches are full of hidden messages from years gone by and for centuries these carved writings and artworks have lain largely unnoticed.

Having launched a nationwide survey to gather the best examples, archaeologist Matthew Champion shines a spotlight on a forgotten world of ships, prayers for good fortune, satirical cartoons, charms, curses, windmills, word puzzles, architectural plans and heraldic designs.

Here are strange medieval beasts, knights battling unseen dragons, ships sailing across lime-washed oceans and demons who stalk the walls. Latin prayers for the dead jostle with medieval curses, builders’ accounts and slanderous comments concerning a long-dead archdeacon.

Strange and complex geometric designs, created to ward off the ‘evil eye’ and thwart the works of the devil, share church pillars with the heraldic shields of England’s medieval nobility.

Giving a voice to the secret graffiti artists of Medieval times, this engaging, enthralling and – at times – eye-opening book, with a glossary of key terms and a county-by-county directory of key churches, will put this often overlooked period in a whole new light.

Publisher Review

Rare, lovely glimmers of everyday life in the Middle Ages. -- Dan Jones * The Sunday Times * While rigorous in its scholarship - packed full of information and insights which have come from research pursued over many years and collected by a dedicated team of surveyors - it is eminently readable. -- William Anderson, University of Melbourne * Peregrenations Journal *

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