The Rock Art Network
The Rock Art Network
The Rock Art Network
Bradshaw Foundation - Latest News
Markings in Creswell Crags
Friday 15 February 2019

An article on bbc.co.uk - Creswell Crags: 'Witches' marks' found in cave network - reports on the discovery of numerous "witches' marks" believed to be from the 17th and 18th Centuries at Creswell Crags.

Creswell Crags
Apotropaic marks scribed into the cave surface. Image: Creswell Crags.

They were discovered at Creswell Crags, Nottinghamshire, and are believed to be the biggest concentration of protective marks found in British caves. The "apotropaic" marks were scribed into the cave surface as they were thought to keep evil spirits coming from the underworld. Originally thought to be graffiti, they have now been reclassified.

Article continues below
Article continues

The discovery was made by Hayley Clark and Ed Waters from Subterranea Britannica, a charity whose members have a passion for underground space, during a cave tour. Before then the marks had always been noticed, but dismissed as graffiti from before the caves were barred.

Creswell Crags
Members of the Subterranea Britannica group made the discovery. Image: Creswell Crags.

Protection marks are most commonly found in medieval churches and houses, near the entrance points, particularly doorways, windows and fireplaces. Creswell Crags said it was thought that the largest quantity of "witches' marks" in British caves were the 57 found in a Somerset cave, but there are hundreds in one cave alone at Creswell. They include the double V, which is believed to mean Virgin of Virgins, while PM is thought to reference Pace Maria. Diagonal lines, boxes and mazes are thought to be symbols for capturing or trapping evil.

Editor's note:
Always interesting to see the continued use of a space for particular reasons. Creswell Crags - protective marks from the 17th and 18th Centuries preceded by petroglyphs and mobile artefacts from the Upper Palaeolithic. During the Upper Palaeolithic, much of Britain and Ireland was covered by a thick blanket of ice, in places up to 2 km in thickness and it was considered that during this time there was little in the way of a human presence south of the ice margin. The Creswell Crags discovery was, however, to change this and ignite a new approach for the peopling of the British Isles during this harsh climatic period within our distant past.

Read more:
British Isles Prehistory Archive

Comment
Rock Art
More rock art discovered in Rouffignac cave
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 28 August 2020
Stone carvings discovered in the British Isles
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 20 August 2020
Rock Art Podcasts
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 01 July 2020
Pilbara heritage site under threat
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 15 June 2020
Ancient Pilbara rock shelters destroyed
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 27 May 2020
Engravings discovered in Sinai Desert
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 06 May 2020
Hunter-gatherers of southern Africa
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 05 May 2020
Robot draws Chauvet art
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 22 April 2020
Carvings discovered in Norway
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 15 April 2020
Uncertain spring
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 10 April 2020
Virtual rock art tours
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 03 April 2020
The Art World Goes Dark
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 27 March 2020
Mantis carving in Iran
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 23 March 2020
Carvings discovered in northern Spain
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 18 February 2020
Rock art expeditions to Baja California
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 15 January 2020
Australian rock art destroyed by fire
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 08 January 2020
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation on social media for news & updates
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation
on social media for news & updates
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation on social media for news & updates
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation
on social media for news & updates
If you have enjoyed visiting this website
please consider adding a link © Bradshaw Foundation
 
 
ROCK ART NETWORK
Rock Art Network Bradshaw Foundation Getty Conservation Institute
The Final Passage
by Rock Art Network
4 May 2020
ROCK ART
More rock art discovered in Rouffignac cave
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 28 August 2020
Stone carvings discovered in the British Isles
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 20 August 2020
Rock Art Podcasts
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 01 July 2020
Pilbara heritage site under threat
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 15 June 2020
Ancient Pilbara rock shelters destroyed
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 27 May 2020
Engravings discovered in Sinai Desert
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 06 May 2020
Hunter-gatherers of southern Africa
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 05 May 2020
Robot draws Chauvet art
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 22 April 2020
Carvings discovered in Norway
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 15 April 2020
Uncertain spring
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 10 April 2020
Virtual rock art tours
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 03 April 2020
The Art World Goes Dark
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 27 March 2020
Mantis carving in Iran
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 23 March 2020
Carvings discovered in northern Spain
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 18 February 2020
Rock art expeditions to Baja California
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 15 January 2020
Australian rock art destroyed by fire
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 08 January 2020
Bradshaw Foundation Donate Friends
Support our work & become a
Friend of the Foundation
 
 
Bradshaw Foundation Facebook
 
Bradshaw Foundation YouTube
Bradshaw Foundation iShop Shop Store
Bradshaw Foundation iShop Shop Store
Bradshaw Foundation iShop Shop Store