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Discover The Archaeology of Magical Protection at Eastbourne Town Hall

1 October 2018

Stories of magical protection and witchcraft will be explored in greater detail at the first Town Hall Talk hosted by Heritage Eastbourne on the evening of Saturday 13 October.

Discover The Archaeology of Magical Protection at Eastbourne Town HallTV historian Brian Hoggard, specialist in the archaeology of Folk Magic, will be discussing why objects and lucky charms were concealed within the walls of buildings in order to ward off evil spirits and how these objects have since been discovered during renovations, demolitions and archaeological digs.

He’ll also be outlining why people marked their houses with mysterious letters and symbols which can still be seen today (often known as Witch Marks), supposedly to protect them from the influence of evil spirits and witches, both of which were a very real threat in the minds of our not so distant ancestors.

Brian has been researching these practices for many years and will share his insight into this fascinating and spooky subject, just in time for Halloween.

Eastbourne Borough Council Lead Cabinet Member for Tourism and Enterprise, Cllr Margaret Bannister said “The Town Hall talks always offer an opportunity to learn more about a range of fascinating historical subjects from a variety of thought-provoking and engaging speakers. As the evenings draw in, the talks are a lovely way to spend an evening, while at the same time discovering something new about our local history.”

History lovers will learn more about the practice of concealing witch bottles beneath the hearth or threshold and find out what their contents usually comprised of. The talk will explore why in the 16th and 17th centuries, during a period of the witch-trials, people were so fearful of supernatural intrusion into their homes that their protection methods included concealed shoes, horse skulls and even dried cats!

Town Hall Talks: Within Walls - Archaeology of Magical Protection starts at 7.30pm on Saturday 13 October at Eastbourne Town Hall, Grove Road. Tickets cost £10 and include a glass of wine.

Forthcoming Town Hall talks include ‘Roman London’s First Voices’ with Dr Sadie Watson on 8 November and ‘Christmas Dinner from Edward I to Edward VII’ with Dr Annie Gray on 13 December.

To book your tickets visit

Tickets are also available at the Redoubt Fortress, telephone 01323 410300, or at the Eastbourne Tourist Information Office.

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