Have your say on how historic graffiti found in St Michael's Church, Alnwick, should be used

The public has been urged to have its say over what should happen to historic pieces of church graffiti.

By Amanda Bourn
Monday, 11th July 2022, 1:57 pm

When the tower of St Michael’s was restored last year, the lead roof was leaking and had to be completely renewed.

But when workmen removed the damaged panels, they found 400 pieces of legible graffiti dating back to 1764 was discovered.

There are examples of initials, of declarations of love, outlines of feet and hands, drawings of people and ships and – most unusual on a roof – some very precise drawings of architectural tracery.

Bridget, John and Hannah, visitors from Sheffield, examine some of the graffiti with Jean Darby (project coordinator).

Although most examples are from the 18th and 19th centuries, there are a few additions of names and initials of people who have worked on the roof more recently.

All these examples have been brought down into the church where they are being stored securely. Because of the nature of the material involved, the examples must remain in the church, but it is an important part of Alnwick’s history and so should be available to the whole community.

The church is therefore seeking people’s ideas as to how the graffiti can be used as the source of projects for local groups, schools and individuals.

A drop-in session will be held tomorrow, Tuesday July 12, from 2pm until 4pm when examples of the graffiti will be on show.

A spokeswoman said: “Do join us to find out more, help us shape the future of this unique piece of our town’s history and leave us with ideas to help you work on your projects.”