Graffiti 17th Century
You can’t help wondering about the motives and daily lives of the people, who carved their names into these church walls over 400 years ago!
The most prominent graffiti, by the Tudor door to the Tower reflects the use of the gallery as a schoolroom during the 17th and 18th centuries.
The earliest graffiti (HB 1625) was cut when King Charles I ascended to the throne.
JOHN FOXE 1666 carved his name into the stonework in the year of the Great Fire of London, when the occupant of Thorncroft Manor, Sir Thomas Bludworth, was Lord Mayor.
16 HE 85 (topped by a crown motif)
JASPER ROGERS and JR (multiple examples can be seen)
R· · ERT NEALE
HVM STACY 1662
JOHN FOXE 1666
The name Rogers appears frequently in the Registers of Baptisms through the 17th and 18th century but there is only one entry for the name Jasper: July 7th 1713 Thomas, James and Jasper sons of John Rogers. A Richard Rogers was baptised on March 11th 1673.
Numerous graffiti are visible in the western half of the church. However, the majority are no longer decipherable being shallow, incomplete, worked over or filled with paint. The area around the doorway to the Tower staircase and the north side of the Tower arch is where most of the deeply cut names and initials can be seen.
18th to 20th century graffitti
Initials and names of the 18th to 20th centuries, with a varying degree of legibility, occur around door and window openings and on the curving soffit of the stairs. They are most in evidence on the doorway to the Ringing Chamber
On your way back out through the North Porch, you may be able to spot three possible scratch dials with other marks one above another on the inside edge of the entrance. All are in poor condition and only the topmost circle has been confirmed as a scratch dial by the British Sundial Society.
As scratch dials are normally found on external south facing surfaces we are not sure if these stones have been reused. A possible source could be the blocked doorway to the South Aisle.
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