Amongst the most intriguing discoveries made so far are a number of late medieval text inscriptions, apparently names of individuals, that appear to be upside-down.
Image: Norfolk Medieval Graffiti Survey Although the survey volunteers have already identified many dozens of medieval inscriptions within the cathedral they have discovered that just as many inscriptions relate to later centuries.
During the English Civil War the cathedral was reputedly used as a stable by Roundhead troops, who were notorious for defacing religious buildings, and the walls appear to bear testament to this turbulent time.
Historian/Archaeologist with twenty years experience of working in built heritage conservation, project management and interpretation.
Project director of the Norfolk Medieval Graffiti Survey (NMGS) - a volunteer led community archaeology project that aims to undertake the first large scale, systematic survey, of medieval graffiti in the UK.
Although precise dating of such a graffito is not possible, stylistically the piece appears to have much in common with 12th and 13th century imagery.
However, known re-working of the stone in this area of the cathedral makes such an early date unlikely.
In many cases”, “we are probably the first people to have seen them for many hundreds of years.
You just never know what you will find next – a prayer, a curse, a ship or a windmill.
The initial results have staggered archaeologists with the sheer number and quality of graffiti so far discovered. The project, undertaken by volunteer survey teams, is working closely with the Dean and Chapter and Cathedral Archaeologist Roland Harris to undertake one of the very first surveys of its type to be carried out anywhere in England.
Although other graffiti surveys have been undertaken within Cathedrals such as St Albans the Norwich Cathedral survey is the first to be undertaken on a large scale using modern digital technology. The walls are covered in everything you can think of.
Image: Norfolk Medieval Graffiti Survey The NMGS has previously been the subject of national media attention following the discovery of highly significant architectural designs etched onto the wall of Binham Priory in Norfolk.