In old buildings many subtly carved marks can be found on stone, plaster and timber with a variety of meanings and purposes. There are masons’ marks, carpenter’s marks, merchants marks, shipping marks, historic graffiti (covers a wide range) and then there are protection marks.

In this short presentation Brian Hoggard will explain the differences between those broad categories of marks and then focus on the range of protection marks you might come across in churches and other buildings. These include: Marian marks, Christograms, daisy-wheels and circles, burn marks, shoe outlines, hand outlines, mesh marks and pentagrams. The thinking required to understand them will require the suspension of some of your logic and science knowledge.

Brian Hoggard has been studying history, archaeology and folk beliefs since his teens; his Twitter account enigmatically states that he has been a ‘Researcher of strange things found in walls and under floors since 1999…’ Brian’s undergraduate dissertation focused on folk beliefs and witchcraft, when he noticed there was a huge amount of further work that could be done to explore the archaeology of witchcraft. At that point his research escalated into a major project which has culminated in the publication of Magical House Protection: The Archaeology of Counter-Witchcraft (Berghahn 2019).

For more information see:

Your host for this event will be the writer Edward Parnell, author of Ghostland: In Search of a Haunted Country. Edward Parnell lives in Norfolk and has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. He is the recipient of an Escalator Award from the National Centre for Writing and a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship. Ghostland (William Collins, 2019), a work of narrative non-fiction, is a moving exploration of what has haunted our writers and artists – as well as the author’s own haunted past; it was shortlisted for the PEN Ackerley 2020 prize, an award given to a literary autobiography of excellence. Edward’s first novel The Listeners (2014), won the Rethink New Novels Prize.

For further info see: