VICTORIAN graffiti has been discovered in the fabric of Crudwell Church during the restoration of the porch roof.

The 15th century porch protecting the entrance to All Saints Church was last re-roofed around 100-120 years ago and in those days it was the custom of craftsmen to make their marks in the lead moulding on which they had worked.

The discovery comes as Crudwell Strawberry Fayre, which has raised much of the money needed for the restoration, prepares to celebrate its’ 30th anniversary this weekend.

Andy Jones, the specialist craftsman currently undertaking the restoration work, discovered the outlines of three shoes, two hands, some initials and other marks that could not be deciphered, when stripping off the lead for recasting.

“Lead roofs of that age usually have some kind of tag,” he said this week.

“They would usually mark round their feet and date it but we couldn’t find a date. There were some scratch marks but nothing we could work out.”

The section of lead containing the graffiti has been preserved and will be incorporated into the new lead covering when it comes back from Leicester after being recast.

Mr Jones, of AD Jones Roofing, said the new lead roof would easily last another 100 years but he would not be leaving his mark on it to be discovered next century.

“We don’t normally do that these days,” he said, but added he had occasionally done so if requested.

Even using recycled lead, re-roofing the porch is an expensive exercise which has been financed almost entirely by the proceeds of the annual Crudwell Strawberry Fayre together with grants from Wiltshire Historic Churches Trust and Listed Places of Worship Trust.

Three winters ago the roof was patched to prevent leaks but thanks to the Strawberry Fayre and proceeds from the sale of the popular Crudwell Book of Strawberries, written by church warden Cathy Butcher, enough money has now been raised to do the job properly.

The fayre has a musical theme this year with events including a concert by Dursley Male Voice Choir in the church on Friday, a sizzle and swing big band night on Saturday and performances by folk artists, a saxophone quartet and other musicians. For details visit