More alternative visualisations/previously un-scanned negatives or processed files from Oman, starting with this one, made in 2010.
Being stopped from travel and almost locked away for more than a year, I’ve not had much enthusiasm or even opportunity for photography. So going through my negatives/slides and digital files has kept me from going ‘Doolally’, for those not familiar with this word: it means ‘lose one’s mind’, derived from the boredom felt at a British Army transit camp in Maharashtra India, established in 1861.
The above image shows an example of Witch markings or hexfoils found on the entrance to St Michaels Church Clapton in Gordano Somerset.
People would scratch specific symbols as an act of devotion or to invoke good luck – these symbols would often take the form of a daisy wheel, or hexfoil, a pattern with endless lines. hopefully to confuse and entrap evil spirits.
Similar patterns can be found on doors in a lot of the abandoned villages I visited in Oman and used for exactly the same reason: they would invoke good luck and well-being for the family or ward off evil or malevolent spirits (Jinn).
Those found in Britain come from a time when a belief in witches and superstition was part of everyday life. People constantly sought protection from evil spirits that might entrap them or cause harm to family or livestock.
They are found in churches, Chapels, cottages along with agricultural buildings and were used from medieval times right upto the 18th century. The oldest so far found in UK (as far as I know) are mid 13th century examples on door frames at Donington le Heath Manor House in Leicestershire.
The Church of St Michael Clapton in Gordano, Somerset, England, dates from the 13th century, although the 12th-century tympanum (semi-circular or triangular decorative wall surface over an entrance, door or window) is the oldest visible part of the church, the majority of the building is from the 13th century.
Unfortunately I was unable to visit the inside, I needed to request a key from the custodians as it is no longer a fully active church; a return visit is a must.