St George and All Saints, Beaford, has Norman origins, although much of the present structure is believed to date from the 15th century. The church was restored and re-glazed in the late 19th century. The tower was first rebuilt in 1802 and again in 1909-10.

The visible graffiti consists primarily of prominent marks on either side of the limestone south doorway, and a possible 19th century masons mark on a buttress.

On the west side of the doorway there is a pentangle with a cross beneath it. The pentangle is interesting as it has additional side strokes that look as if they were added later. These additions make the bottom part resemble what is known in graffiti terms as a butterfly symbol (a saltire cross between two bars).

On the east side of the doorway is a reversed (anti-clockwise) swastika type symbol. The swastika (from the Sanskrit svastika – associated with wellbeing) is an ancient symbol used by many cultures around the world, and found in Christian iconography. Its meaning as graffiti is uncertain, but its position here on a doorway suggests that it may have been considered as apotropaic (protective).

Above the swastika is a symbol combining a V and an upturned V. It is possible that this has derived from the V’s, or even the letters AM, associated with Marian marks. Similar symbols have been found on cast iron firebacks, and may have been apotropaic. An identical V symbol exists at Huntshaw, where there is also a reversed swastika and two pentangles.

Beaford, St George and All Saints