This design has been discovered in numerous churches all over Europe. Although it is an ancient symbol, appearing upon Roman mosaics from as early as the 4th century, it appears to have been adopted as a Christian symbol, appearing on a number of early fonts and stonework – such as the superb example located at Sculthorpe church. Although not as common a discovery as many of the other ritual protections marks it does appear in a number of widely spread churches, suggesting that its meaning and symbolism was widely understood.
It has been suggested that it relates back to the story of Solomon’s Knot in the Old Testament, in which King Solomon was given a ring by an archangel, inscribed with a powerful symbol that gave him power over demons. The folk belief associated this symbol, shown sometimes as a Star of David, Pentangle or ‘endless knot’, was that demons were curious – and rather stupid. If they saw a line then they had to follow it. In the case of the Solomon’s knot the line was effectively endless – trapping the demon within the symbol itself.