Architectural designs and working drawings are occasionally found as graffiti, and the work of the East Anglian surveys has so far doubled the number of previously known rare examples.

Architectural drawings can vary greatly in scale, location and detail, but all have been created using precision tools. The largest of the examples – at Binham Priory (Norfolk) was nearly two metres tall, whilst the sketch for a window design at Weston Longville (Norfolk) was only 140mm across.

In terms of location, the designs can be found just about anywhere a flat surface was available (although see below), with the rear of rood screens being particularly popular. At least one example has been located on medieval plaster, and it is likely that many more have been lost as plaster has been replaced and renewed. Whilst telling us little in terms of social history, these inscriptions provide valuable information about medieval design and building processes.

In a church in Dartmouth, Devon, an architectural sketch of a window has recently been found on a circular pier.

architectural inscriptions