University of Bristol Spelæological Society

Ritual protection Marks in Goatchurch cavern, Burrington Combe, North Somerset (UBSS Proceedings v.23(2))

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Binding,C.J., Easton,T., and Wilson,L.J., 2005. Ritual protection Marks in Goatchurch cavern, Burrington Combe, North Somerset. UBSS Proceedings, 23(2) , pp 119-133 Download PDF.

Abstract: Markings found in Goatchurch Cavern, North Somerset have been identified as ritual protection marks, possibly dating from the period 1550 to 1750. The similarity of these marks to those found in timbered buildings of this period is discussed. An Appendix provides previously unpublished reasoning for the assertion that the W or conjoined V mark is associated with the Virgin Mary. The term ritual protection mark is preferred to the description "witch marks" used in some references, to avoid confusion with the same term which is used in many writings to refer to the marks left on a witch's body by its familiar, used as a diagnostic in many witchcraft trials.

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