During the middle ages it is clear that the pentangle was regarded as a powerful Christian symbol and associated with protection. According to the 14th century poem, Gawain and the Green Knight, the pentangle would inspire and protect the knight if painted on his shield, its five points symbolising the five wounds of Christ, the five virtues of knighthood etc.

Since the Reformation the symbol has become associated with the magical arts and, in more recent centuries, it has become particularly associated with Wiccan practises and Victorian concepts of ‘black’ magic.

As a graffito the pentangle appears in sufficient quantities in diverse locations for it to be regarded as an apotropaic marking. A number of Devon examples have been found to date.