Friday, 15 February 2013

Norwich Castle Keep Graffiti

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1. Here's a daisywheel located on the east wall of the Norwich Castle keep at balcony level (standing height). Presumably eroded by water running down the walls over a period of time. 

2. A compass-drawn circle in the fighting gallery (west facing). Covered in carbonated material. Probably due to hundreds of years of prisoners' fire smoke

3. A saint located in the Royal Peculiar chapel of St Nicholas. St Catherine of Alexandria (a favourite of soldiers) holding the instrument of her martyrdom? Fifteenth century. This saint is often shown in association with St Barbara (and her tower), patron saint of gunners. Fifteenth century. 

4. This figure is in the keep basement 'cell' (below the viewing window). Appears to be a Norman soldier in knee length hauberk, however, the circular indentation around the head (halo?) suggest it may be a saint.

5. Figure(s) located in Royal Peculiar chapel. Probably the Vigin Mary with child, however there is a suggestion of wings either side of her head - a bit puzzling if so. 

6. Writing, located on north wall of keep at about knee-height. The holy monogram - HIS - repeated across the stone. From the Greek name for Jesus, 'IHSOUS'. The final 's' looks like a long 'c', indicating a pre-Reformation date. Quite common. 

7. Very 'busy' section of wall located in a recess towards the west end of the north wall. Not the best quality photo.

8. Location, same as above. Full female figure in head-dress. Hands raised in characteristic manner of prayer - late 14th/early 15th century 

9. Located in the keep basement 'cell'. A full rood scene. Central cross with the figure of Christ and the Titulas Cruisis above. Figures of Virgin Mary and St John on either side, with censor angel on outside of these. Assuming it's not a persecuted Catholic, then this graffito is pre-Reformation. 

10. There are several of these in the castle in the north-west corner. A cat 

11. Reminiscent of many late medieval depictions of St Andrew upon his cross. Impossible to date. 

12. Appears to be a suggestion of a head-dress or coif - very similar to one at Shillington in Bedfordshire. 

13. Figure heavily etched into the 'kitchen' above the abandoned staircase. 

14. Shoe? Bishop's mitre? 

15. Located in the south-west corner (main floor). Perhaps a variation of the instruments of the passion (implements used to torment Jesus)

16. Late 16th/early 17th century. Note the scabbard and sword to the side of the figure. Dress: peascod doublet and trunk hose (date range: as early as 1560 or as late as 1615). The sword appears to be a falchion - suggesting a common soldier, rather than a gentleman. Note the straight line between the raised left hand (as we look at it) and the head. Possible setting out lines (architectural). 

17. Located in the south-east corner of the keep basement. A rood scene

18. Location, same as above. Looks like a wayside or preaching cross to the right of pic (if so, one of two I've found in the castle thus far).

19. Located in fighting gallery, south-west corner. At first I was mindful of the bows and arrows on the pier at Trunch church. However, the precision with which it's drawn, together with the distribution of them around this area, makes me wonder if it is actually a mason's mark or something architectural, like a setting out sketch. 

20. Wanger Man! Look and feels late 16th/early 17th century in date - but impossible to be precise.