Medieval Graffiti in St. Mary's, Belchamp Walter
This page was updated 27 September 2021 - other pages visited on this day to follow.
This page is part of an on-going research project on the history of Belchamp Walter and the manor of Belchamp Walter. If you have found it making a web search looking for geneological or other information on the village then please bookmark this page and return often as I am likely to make regular updates. If you delve deeper into this website you will find many other pages similar to this one.
There are many examples of graffiti in St. Mary's church.
The font, the tower and on various other locations.
As seen in the photo above the upside-down W symbols are quite common as quoted below from the Guild Chapel:
" The ‘VV’ sign is one of the most common apotropaic symbols and has been found throughout the Chapel. Traditionally thought to be an abbreviation of Virgo Virginum (Latin for Virgin of Virgins), it calls on the Virgin Mary for protection. Recent research suggests the ritual origins of the symbol might actually lie in Scandinavia as the sign appears in runic writing systems. "
The medieval-graffiti-suffolk.co.uk website also shows many images of this design.
Medieval Pilgrims' Ampullae
The Mathew Champion book - The lost voices of English Churches, describes the production of Medieval "souvenirs" that were produced for pilgrims.
The VV is described on the East Anglian Museum of Magic and Mythology website as:
" ...... double V, for Virgo Virginum, Virgin of Virgins, indicating Mary, Mother of God, and forming the W of Walsingham. (The VV symbol has also been used widely as an apotropaic device in house protection.) "