Witch Marks at The Commandery

web Commandery Witch Markings (c) Museums WorcestershireThese marks on The Commandery’s building timbers are called apotropaic marks. They are evil-averting, often called ‘witch marks’, which were used to protect a building from evil spirits, witches and their animal familiars. These marks are primarily found around doorways, fireplaces and windows and it has been suggested that they were made by the carpenters as part of a ritual when constructing the building.

The Commandery also contains a curious mark in the shape of VV on its side behind the Minstrels Gallery. This is apparently one of the most common inscriptions in timber framed buildings of this age with many churches also containing this symbol. They have been associated with the cult of the Virgin Mary with the ‘V V’ being regarded as the initial letters of the Latin phrase ‘Virgo Virginum’ meaning Virgin of Virgins.

Kerry Whitehouse, Interpretation Assistant, The Commandery


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.