Medieval Graffiti Event at Clare

In July, Stour Valley Community Archaeology (SVCA) hosted a medieval graffiti event in St Peter and St Paul’s church in Clare, Suffolk. Matthew Champion of the Suffolk Medieval Graffiti Survey (SMGS) gave an informative presentation of the different types of medieval graffiti recorded by the survey and the 30+ members of SVCA then had a quick identification tour of the church.

More about the survey from their website: “The Suffolk Medieval Graffiti Survey was established in 2014 with the intention of undertaking the very first large-scale survey of early graffiti inscriptions in the county of Suffolk. It is an entirely volunteer led, community archaeology project, that is changing the way we look at our medieval church heritage.

The Suffolk Medieval Graffiti Survey (SMGS) is a continuation of the multi award winning Norfolk Medieval Graffiti Survey (NMGS). By undertaking surveys in both of these counties, which between them contain in excess of 1100 surviving medieval churches, it is hoped to establish an entirely new understanding of how the medieval population interacted with their church as both buildings and institutions.”

We’ve had such positive feedback from the evening that SVCA will be organising a full survey of Clare church in the autumn under the direction of the SMGS team. Once the team have taught us how to properly record, identify and photograph the medieval graffiti, it is hoped that we will then be able to go out and survey further churches. Anyone interested in finding out more about the survey or joining SVCA’s event at Clare should email


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