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Boost for church graffiti project

11:26 07 June 2014

Volunteers with The Norfolk Graffiti Project

Volunteers with The Norfolk Graffiti Project

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A project which has made nationally important discoveries in churches across the county, has received a funding boost to continue its work.

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The Norfolk Medieval Graffiti Survey has been awarded £56,000 by the East of England Heritage Lottery to complete its survey of the county’s 650 plus medieval churches, develop educational resources, an online database of its findings and host a number of events and exhibitions.

The project began in January 2010 with the aim of carrying out the first large-scale study of surviving medieval graffiti inscriptions in Norfolk churches.

The project, which will run until late 2016, has so far surveyed 250 churches and unearthed a number of important discoveries, including 13th century architectural inscriptions 
at Binham Priory,

More recently, the project, which has been recognised with two national archaeology awards and has been the inspiration for a number of similar surveys in other English counties, has been undertaking the very first medieval graffiti survey of Norwich Cathedral.

The survey teams have completed over half of the ground floor area, recording several thousand early graffiti inscriptions, including everything from medieval ships and music, to names and geometric patterns.

One of the most unusual discoveries made at the cathedral were several inscriptions that appear to have been specifically created during the late Middle Ages as curses.

Project director Matthew Champion, said: “Being awarded the HLF grant is a great boost for the project and a real recognition of all the hard work that has been put in by the volunteers.

“The project has made some amazing discoveries and it really highlights the fact that local volunteers can make a real difference to the archaeological record. This grant will enable us to involve even more people and showcase the findings we have already made.

“The grant is really a fantastic recognition that real people can undertake real and meaningful archaeology – and make a real difference.”

Further information on the Norfolk Medieval Graffiti Survey, and information on how you can volunteer to help, can be found on the project website: www.medieval-graffiti.co.uk

Are you involved in a local project? Email tracey.gray@archant.co.uk

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