Home » Finds from inside buildings

Finds from buildings can be divided into three categories

  1. Items left in buildings because they were lost, forgotten or unwanted.
  2. Items deliberately deposited in a building. This deposit being thought to confer protection to the building or its inhabitants.
  3. Marks deliberately made in the fabric of the building during its period of use. These might be:
    • Marks with a practical use. e.g. scratch dials/ mass dials
    • Marks thought to have some supernatural influence; these were often seen as protecting the building.
Dog-handled Walking stick

A dog-handled “folk art” walking stick

BBC antiques roadshow – Series 38, Episode 4: Broughton Castle 27 Sept 2015 [45:26-47:45]

A dog-handled ‘folk art’ walking stick with a full length fox hunting scene dating from the reign of King George IV. Found in an attic in Blackpool read more…

Deposited shoe

Concealed Garments

A ‘hidden cache’ of  items were found in the chimney of a house in Charney Bassett.  The fireplace had been boarded up, and was opened up when the house was renovated. The fireplace and chimney would appear to date from the early 17th century, although part of the building is almost certainly older. It is the same chimney that read more…

Deliberate marks

Apotropic Marks

These are marks on the fabric of buildings that are meant to protect the building from spiritual evil.  They majority appear to date from the 16th to the 18th century.  In some cases they have been made by the craftsman who constructed the building, in other cases they appear to have been made by the users of the building.  The buildings may be ecclesiastical, domestic or read more…

James Thatcher Jug 1773

Bill Thatcher contacted our history website as his ancestor, John Thatcher, was born in 1773 in Charney, though lived most of his life until his death aged 82 in nearby Fyfield.

However, as part of his research he came across a dated creamware jug on the Bonhams website. It is embossed with ‘James Thatcher Charney. 1773’ it sold in 2012 for £875. It’s existence would suggest James, at least, was not at the very bottom of the social scale in those days.

Description: Probably Cockpit Hill, of ovoid form with a broad spreading foot, the strap handle with an elaborate applied terminal, inscribed below the satyr mask spout ‘James Thatcher Charney Berks 1773’ within a red and black cartouche, a Chinese figure beside a table to one side, flowers to the other, rouletted borders, 21.1cm high (restored).  The style of painting relates to that found on other Cockpit Hill and on Derby porcelain.