Carved “witches signs” were found in an old English church

Archaeologists are investigating traces of “witches” found carved in the ruins of a medieval church that existed in England 700 years ago.

The collapsed structure was exposed in Stoke Mandeville during a construction project for a high-speed railway that was slated to run across the country.

Researchers at HSR, the company involved in the project, spotted inscriptions on various stones of what was formerly Saint Mary’s, which have a central drilled hole with lines engraved from it forming a circle.

Historians say the signs were used to “ward off evil spirits by trapping them in an endless line or maze.”

Scroll down for the video

Archaeologists are investigating traces of “ witches ” found carved in the ruins of a medieval church that existed in England 700 years ago.

Witch marks, or “apotropaic” signs, are from the Greek word apotrepein, “to turn away” and are to protect the inhabitants from evil spirits.

St. Mary’s Church was built around 1070, after the Norman Conquest, and experts believe it was the first private church belonging to the Lord of the Palace at that time.

In the 1440’s, the structure was extended to a place of worship for the entire village.

It was abandoned in the 19th century and condemned in the 20th century, leaving behind some relics and ancient grave stones for the public to view.

Historians say the signs were used

Historians say the signs were used to “ward off evil spirits by trapping them in an endless line or maze.”

The site is in the middle of a railway project and HS2 archaeologists were cleaning it up when they found ancient graffiti.

“The work in archeology being carried out as part of the HS2 project allows us to uncover and share years of British heritage and history with the world,” said Michael Court, Senior Archaeologist at HS2 Ltd.

“Discoveries like these unusual signs have opened discussions about their purpose and use, providing a fascinating insight into the past.”

Signs like this have been seen in other churches, but instead of providing protection, they were used as communication devices for the sun.

St. Mary's Church was built around 1070, after the Norman Conquest, and experts believe it was the first private church belonging to the master of the palace at that time (pictured is a hypothetical reconstruction of the church)

St. Mary’s Church was built around 1070, after the Norman Conquest, and experts believe it was the first private church belonging to the master of the palace at that time (pictured is a hypothetical reconstruction of the church)

The carvings, called “scratch discs,” were placed near the church’s south door – an area for better ray capture.

However, the marking of Saint Mary is inconsistent with the idea and leaves the possibility to use it for protection.

The so-called signs of witches are found not only on churches, but also dug in houses, barns and caves.

Signs were usually written in stone or woodwork near building entrances – especially doorways, windows, and fireplaces.

Signs were usually written in stone or woodwork near building entrances - especially doorways, windows, and fireplaces

Signs were usually written in stone or woodwork near building entrances – especially doorways, windows, and fireplaces

Hundreds of these signs were found adorning the inside of the Creswell Crags limestone caves on the border between Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire last year (pictured)

Hundreds of these signs were found adorning the inside of the Creswell Crags limestone caves on the border between Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire last year (pictured)

Hundreds of these signs were found adorning the limestone caves of Creswell Crags on the border between Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire last year.

It was previously thought that the marks were graffiti from some time before the caves closed.

Paul Baker, director of the Creswell Heritage Trust, said the marks have been visible for decades, but they have not really been understood.

He said, “But we told people it was Victorian wall paintings.” Watchman.

We had no idea. Can you imagine how stupid we felt?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.