In August 2021 the Hoxne Heritage Group visited Thelnetham Windmill in Suffolk. Whilst there we noted circular marks, many daisy wheels or hexafoils on the timbers at the entrance to the mill. This triggered some interest and we noted that our village, Hoxne, contained a wide variety of these marks, and others. Curiously, they don’t seem to have been recorded before. I then decided to record as many buildings as possible in Hoxne and the surrounding area and try to make some sense of their occurrence.
|29.10.21||White Cottage, Low Street|
|17.11.21||23 Low Street|
|19.11.21||53 & 54 Low Street|
|19.11.21||53 & 54 Low Street additional information|
|19.11.21||Champfered edge of Bressummer at 54 Low Street|
|7.12.21||77 Low Street|
|11.12.21||16 Cross Street|
|14.12.21||Locks Pyghtle, 1 & 2 Mill Road, Thorpe Abbotts|
|6.1.22||Beech Cottage, Low Street|
|1.2.22||Abbey View, Cross Street|
|2.2.22||Pit Barn, Pit Lane|
|2.2.22||Aldersyde Cottage, Low Street|
|6.2.22||Abbey Farm, Cross Street|
|15.2.22||Yew Tree House, 37-39 Church Hill|
|16.2.22||6 Cross Street
||St Peter & Paul with St Edmund, Hoxne
||Bert’s Barn, Mendham
||The Red House, Whitton’s Lane
The bressummer (beam over the fire place) contains most marks. This link contains a summary of bressummers investigated to date.
In Low Street and Church Hill (near to the Church of St Peter and Paul with St Edmund) a full range of marks are found – lots of Marian marks and Burn marks amongst others.
As we move towards Cross Street there are fewer Marian marks but many more circles. This may represent variation in belief and influence of places of worship like the Parish Church. It is no coincidence that maybe 200 years after some marks were made in Cross Street the Baptist Chapel was built to cater for a section of the community who didn’t identify themselves with the established Church of England. There was also a Quaker presence in the village (persecuted by the 17th century Vicar Edward Willan who also was also known for persecuting witches. There was a Quaker Burial ground in the village but the location is not known. My guess would be somewhere in the vicinity of Cross Street well away from the Parish Church. Maybe the Marian symbols (at least in excess) were regarded as far too “Popish” for a more puritan belief system to tolerate in the more established non-conformist parts of the village such as Cross Street?
Houses of the same age, but differing parts of the village contain differing sets of marks as are recorded in the reports above. As more studies are made of houses in the village, no doubt the picture will become clearer or evolve.
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