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Graffiti Marring, or Giving Character to, History

10 August, 2010

How does a National Heritage site become so scratched, scrawled and scribbled with graffiti and vandalism?  Where were the coppers handing out ASBOs at Bodiam Castle?

I suppose the Police presence has never been prominent at National Heritage sites, so little rascals of all ages and of many decades, centuries even, have been able to sneakily make their mark on this Late Medieval Castle.

H. Wicks, although his carve-manship leaves something to be desired in terms of style, has been kind enough to provide us with a date of his vandalism: 1866.  Perhaps the constables of East Sussex had been otherwise occupied and, in the absence of the Law, H. Wick memorialised his name for 134 yeas and counting.


Much like how some urban graffiti can be admired for its creativity, craft and style, while the vast majority are justifiably condemned as unsightly vandalism, so do the ‘I Was Here’ signatures have varying degrees of worth.  Admire the incredible craftsmanship of G.C. Corlis (surname up for interpretation).  To carve such beautiful cursive into 14th Century Stone!  A feat, indeed!  Most youths these days cannot even lend their hand to cursive, yet this gentleman could put knife to stone and be an accomplished calligrapher!


To give the Reader perspective on the home of these Autographs: Bodiam, on a particularly dreary looking day. 


3 Comments leave one →
  1. dancingbeastie permalink
    10 August, 2010 8:01 pm

    Ooh, I like this: I always notice old graffiti on older buildings too. Perhaps we should teach cursive and Roman capitals to today’s yoof.


  1. Nineteenth Century Graffiti | the Diligent Observer
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