The study of medieval graffiti inscriptions in English churches has a long history. These interesting and enigmatic inscriptions have been studied by historians as far back as the early 19th century. However, until very recent decades these studies had all been focused upon individual churches, such as Ashwell in Hertfordshire. The few churches in which significant graffiti was noticed were considered unusual and medieval graffiti in general was considered to be a rarity.
It was only as recently as 1967 that the first full-
Norfolk contains over 650 medieval churches, more than any other county in England, and yet Pritchard’s book mentioned only two as containing examples of medieval graffiti. The Norfolk Medieval Graffiti Survey was established to undertake the very first large scale and systematic survey ever undertaken in the UK. The initial results have shown that medieval graffiti inscriptions are present in over 70% of the county’s churches, and opened up an entirely new and previously unrecorded corpus of medieval material.
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