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St. Mary the Virgin Church, Sedgeberrow

Human beings leaving their mark on church walls.

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About twenty years ago - I don't remember how long ago it was precisely, but the post office and village stores were still in the house on the curve just past the war memorial (on the same side of the road as the war memorial; I'm not talking about the later stores on the other side of the road) I visited St. Mary's. I'd been to the post office. Around the side of the church, where the earliest photographs above were taken, was an astounding wall of graffitti, as if a charabanc of 19th century tourists had disgorged itself and all of them had inscribed and dated their visits in the stone. Maybe they were 18th century, and a mix; ladies and gentlemen visiting and leaving their names and initials as if invited to by the Vicar. If ever really there, that astounding profusion of touring calling cards has now disappeared almost entirely. I didn't carry a camera at the time, and didn't imagine such a fixture of history would disappear. But: was it ever there? And if it was, did anyone document it before the bloom on the wall was scraped clear?