While demolishing a part of an English village to make way for a rail line, workers stumbled upon two stone carvings that may have been used to repel demonic forces.
In the ruins of the 700-year-old church of St. Mary in a small English village, workers recently stumbled upon a spoked circular carving in the church’s stone beams. According to officials, the design of a wheel with a hole in its center was once used to trap negative entities.
Called apotropaic or “witch marks,” such carvings were usually made in stone, wood, or plaster, in drafty areas of a building such as doorways, windows, or fireplaces, as these locations were considered to be entrance ways to the other side. It was believed that such witch marks warded off demons and other evil spirits… or evoked good luck.
St. Mary’s was originally built in 1070 as a chapel for a wealthy lord. It was remodeled to include an aisle for communal worship in the 14th century but by the 1800s was in such a state of disrepair that a new church was erected closer to the town square. The remains of St. Mary’s was demolished in the 1960s. Even so, some of the remains still stand as high as five feet and the original floors are still intact.
Workers found two witch marks at the site; one with sun dial appearance that was carved into a stone that once sat at ground level and the other carved higher up on the wall. They may have been used to cast out malevolent forces a worshiper may have brought with them, as a way to keep the chapel holy.
The rail line will run through the former site of this ancient church, but the company laying the line says they will excavate the site and move any burials from the graveyard before completing the project.
For more info on witch marks, watch this video.