Possible 'Witch Bottle' Found in Nottinghamshire Oct 20, 2014 20:36:20 GMT -5
Post by Joanna on Oct 20, 2014 20:36:20 GMT -5
Suspected Witch Bottle Found in Nottinghamshire
NEWARK, Nottinghamshire, U.K. – The green bottle, which is about 5'9"-tall, was probably used in the 1700s to ward off evil spells cast by witches, researchers believe. The witch bottles were usually filled with fingernails, hair and urine. The relic was discovered during a project to restore the Old Magnus Building for use as a museum and visitor center.
'Malign forces.' Archaeologist Will Munford, from Pre-construct Archaeological Services of Lincoln, said, "Finding this very fragile bottle in one piece supports the idea that it was carefully placed in the ground. Perhaps it was buried during the construction of the Georgian part of the Old Magnus Building, but we can't be certain. It is the first time we have encountered a suspected witch bottle, but we did find a probable witching shoe – which had a similar purpose – in Worlaby, Lincolnshire. We often forget that people were very superstitious – it was part of their everyday lives. They thought that secreting such personal objects would offer protection from malign forces."
Several witch bottles have been discovered throughout the United Kingdom; one was found in the foundations of a house in Navenby in Lincolnshire in 2005. The bottles were usually made of stoneware or glass, but sometimes old inkwells or candlesticks were used.
The most infamous witch trials in Britain took place at North Berwick, in Scotland, in 1591 and Pendle, Lancashire, in 1612. As many as 300 people were executed for witchcraft in eastern England between 1644-46, even though the laws against witchcraft were repealed in 1736.
Old Magnus Building project manager Bryony Robins from Newark and Sherwood District Council said the bottle would be displayed at the National Civil War Center when it opens in 2015. "It's a fascinating object and part of the history of Newark. If it is a witching bottle, it tells us a great deal about how people once viewed the world," she said.
Source: The Nottingham News, October 20, 2014.