It has always been central to our work at Best of Suffolk to do everything we can to save and preserve historic buildings by giving them a sustainable future, as successful holiday cottages. Imagine our joy during the renovation of High Ash Farm when we discovered, behind a Victorian fireplace, a magnificent 16th Century fireplace with oak bressumer above. Most remarkable were the incredibly preserved range of ritual marks intended to protect the building from witchcraft! A specialist conserving the timber stated that he felt he was looking at one of the most remarkable and best preserved examples of ritual marks he had ever seen, prompting us to so some research.
Reading up on the subject we learnt that some of the symbols were (VV) Virgin of Virgins a Christian symbol which relates to the Virgin Mary. (R) Chi-Ro which appears in the Book of Kells, Daisy Wheels and after applying some linseed oil fainter Runic symbols were discovered. Click here for more information
People believed that evil spirits could enter the house through any aperture, i.e fireplaces, windows, doors and so they made these markings to ward off the evil eye.
We also found a magnificent beehive oven and a blacksmith made hook where the original occupants of the house would have hung their cooking pot.
We don’t expect our future guests to all be historians but hope they will enjoy sitting and relaxing by this incredible fireplace when the house is finished in the spring.