'Knights Templar' graffiti in Hatfield prompts study

PUBLISHED: 16:12 02 January 2014 | UPDATED: 16:12 02 January 2014

Gail Thomas with some grafiti of a knight inside the abbey

Gail Thomas with some grafiti of a knight inside the abbey

Archant

Graffiti found in a church in Hatfield, which might have been made by the Knights Templar, has been declared “very interesting” by an expert.

"They have some rather nice pieces in the church. I saw some lines of music, consecration crosses and at least one head which is worth looking into."

Gail Thomas

Gail Thomas, a guide at St Albans Abbey, who helped with the Abbey’s graffiti survey, said there was “lots of interesting stuff” at St Etheldreda’s in Old Hatfield.

The 68-year-old said: “They have some rather nice pieces in the church. I saw some lines of music, consecration crosses and at least one head which is worth looking in to.

“But it is hard to date exactly when it was made.”

But the north Londoner, who has volunteered as a tour guide for 20 years, said not everything may have a significant meaning.

“There were also some circles on the walls, but in the way that children use compasses to draw a circle, this may have been the medieval equivalent using string and a nail or something.”

Mary Rathbone, who volunteers at St Etheldreda’s in Fore Street, is now planning to start cataloguing all the graffiti in the 13th century church.

The graffiti was pointed out to her in the summer by some visitors who came to the church, and she was stunned to discover how old it could be.

Mary said: “To do the recordings and cataloguing we need a variety of different skills and we will get cracking with the project as soon as we have a sufficient team in place.

“We will need sketchers, researchers, computer people, photographers, historians would be good too – but the team leader is the key.”

If you would like to get involved, or have any information about the graffiti, contact Rev Richard Pyke on 01707 262072.

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