Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire Medieval Graffiti Survey (DNMGS)

Church Survey5 1b) Annotated - Bird motif from the South Porch doorway at Hawton, Notts.








Involve Heritage CIC were awarded Heritage Lottery (HLF) funding for a two-year pilot project back in April 2015.

The project seeks to identify, survey and record examples of Medieval Graffiti in Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire, and explore the concept and possible meaning of this through arts and heritage-based workshops.

The project brings together specialists in Heritage, Archaeology, Church Buildings, Art and Community Involvement, and is a partnership project whose main aim is to involve local people in the two counties and provide training & support to help them undertake this important survey.

The Project Team comprises Involve Heritage CIC, Community Archaeology specialists MBArchaeology, Medieval Graffiti specialist Matt Champion from the Medieval Graffiti Survey group, Dr. Chris Brooke, who leads the Southwell and Nottingham Church Survey Project, Bolsover Civic Society, Bolsover Methodist Church and Creswell Heritage Trust.



Following a successful public engagement and recruitment drive, over thirty volunteers signed up to be involved, and these were trained and supportd to allow them to undertake ground-breaking surveys of churches and other buildings within the two counties.


During the Pilot (which ran between November 2015 – December 2017) over twenty separate buildings were investigated and surveyed, incuding Southwell Minster & Archbishop’s Palace, Bolsover Castle, the Old Magnus building in Newark, and over a dozen smaller parish churches.

We have now scoped a further 30 venues in preparation of a wider survey in 2018. To date, extensive amounts of graffiti has been recorded across the Counties, including initials, names, dates, animal imagery, hand and shoe prints, buildings, music, ritual protection marks and a whole range of other designs.


Graffiti carved onto a door at Clowne church, Derbyshire


A special exhibition showcased the project through a range of volunteer-created art mediums at Creswell Crags, running between from April – July 2017.


For more on the project, including write-ups and images, visit our project page by clicking here.


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