Historical Graffiti

As part of the North West Historical Graffiti Survey project (NWHGS) we are aiming to carry out a number of surveys of ancient buildings in the Wigan area.
These surveys are intended to identify the presence and range of types of mark that might be found in the accessible areas of buildings older than 1700. A fundamental aim is the provision of a volunteer activity that can be undertaken throughout the year by our local archaeology group. It also aimed to add to the nationwide recording that is developing around the original Norfolk Medieval Graffiti project.

A gazetteer of each building will form part of the final archive for the surveys. Images will be catalogued and stored along with the original recording sheets.The survey follows the guidelines set out in the Historic England guide to graffiti surveys with all marks being recorded except those interpreted as modern vandalism.

In February 2017 we were given a workshop on the techniques of recording by Carolanne King and Ellen McInnes at All Saints Parish Church Wigan (see Newsletter 200). In March 2018 we began our first proper survey at St Wilfrid’s Parish Church Standish. After a number of visits during the winter months we finally finished the survey in March 2019. The gazetteer was written up in the summer and the whole archive was handed over to the NWHGP in November 2019. You can see the details of our activity  here.

In December 2019 we began work on recording the ledger stones in St Wilfrid’s. During our previous Graffiti survey we had noticed the carpets had been removed revealing many inscripted grave stone slabs (i.e. ledger stones). These had not been seen in many years and as there were plans to re-carpet in the near future we thought it would be a good opportunity to record these before they were recovered. You can see the details of our progress here.