If you want to see 15th century graffiti and murals, then you need to visit the Church of St. Vincent in north Hertfordshire.
The church was visited by medieval pilgrims on their way down to worship at the shrine of St. Alban in the ‘Abbey of St. Albans’. The pilgrims often etched small votive crosses into the stonework to leave their mark.
In medieval times, English churches would have been very colourful places, full of murals depicting scenes from the bible and saints. St. George killing the dragon was a popular mural in english churches. The murals in St. Vincent were rediscovered in the 1960’s during renovation work.
Have a look at my video here:
Hello there Robert,
Thank you for this post. I have only recently learned about church graffiti and I find your post very informative and interesting. I enjoyed the video very much as I was able to see some really nice graffiti.
I would be very grateful if you could advise me on any other places that I could visit and where I will be able to see more of those little treasures from the past. I am particularly interested in the oldest graffiti from 15th to 17 century.
Thank you again
Thanks, yes medieval graffiti is fascinating! Churches in the counties of Hertfordshire, Suffolk and Norfolk tend to be built out of stone that is very soft, so it would have been easy for someone to carve their name, date or even a symbol or picture. So any medieval church in these counties would be worth a visit.
It also depends on if in the last 100 years, whether the church has decided to white wash the inner walls of the church and thus covering over any graffiti.
There is a book called ‘Medieval Graffiti’ by Matthew Champion who over a period of time visited every church in Norfolk and Suffolk, detailing the graffiti and then writing a book about the best graffiti he found. He also has some clips on YouTube which are very interesting. He seems to be the expert on the subject.
Near where I live in Hertfordshire, there are some nice village churches in Flamstead and Ashwell with graffiti from the 15th-17th century.
Hope this helps.
Thank you very much for your reply and your suggestions. I am looking forward visiting those churches.
I also bought the book that you suggested and I am looking forward to reading it. There is so much history that I don’t know about and graffiti is one of them.
Thank you again for all your help. I will send pictures if I find any interesting graffiti.