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Warding off Witches - Apotropaic Marks

Working on historic buildings, we are drawn to the quirks and unusual features hidden within the fabric of the building.

Today’s interesting features are apotropaic marks found in our 16th Century office in Godalming.

The first image shows scratches in the form of a V, W or M found on a windowsill. Such marks are believed to be requesting the protection of the Virgin Mary to ward off evil spirits.

The second shows a taper burn, which were thought to be simply careless burn marks from a misplaced candle, but are now thought to be to protect the occupants from witches

If you are interested in finding out more about apotropaic marks follow the link below to Historic England’s website.

If you need specialist help with a project involving a listed building, then do contact us for an initial consultation or browse our website and take a look at some of our projects.


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