© 2015

Physical Evidence for Ritual Acts, Sorcery and Witchcraft in Christian Britain

A Feeling for Magic

  • Ronald Hutton

Part of the Palgrave Historical Studies in Witchcraft and Magic book series (PHSWM)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Ronald Hutton
    Pages 1-14
  3. Brian Hoggard
    Pages 106-117
  4. June Swann
    Pages 118-130
  5. Timothy Easton
    Pages 147-163
  6. Tabitha Cadbury
    Pages 188-208
  7. Owen Davies, Timothy Easton
    Pages 209-231
  8. Ian Evans, M. Chris Manning, Owen Davies
    Pages 232-254
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 255-261

About this book


This volume investigates the physical evidence for magic in medieval and modern Britain, including ritual mark, concealed objects, amulets, and magical equipment. The contributors are the current experts in each area of the subject, and show between them how ample the evidence is and how important it is for an understanding of history.



Ritual Magic Sorcery Witchcraft Religion Britain England history religion

Editors and affiliations

  • Ronald Hutton
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BristolUK

About the editors

John Billingsley, Independent Scholar, UK Tabitha Cadbury, Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, UK Matthew Champion, Freelance Archaeologist, UK Alexander Cummins, University of Bristol, UK Owen Davies, University of Hertfordshire, UK Timothy Easton, Independent Artist and Sculptor, UK Dinah Eastop, University College London, UK Ian Evans, University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia Brian Hoggard, Independent Scholar, UK M. Chris Manning, Dovetail Cultural Resource Group, USA June Swann MBE, Northampton Museum, UK


Bibliographic information


“This is a fascinating, educational, elegantly written, and well-argued collection which pushes the boundaries of mainstream historical and archaeological research, shining a light on a very important subject so far over-neglected. I strongly believe that it should be considered as required reading for undergraduate and graduate students of different disciplines, and for field archaeologists especially involved in commercial archaeology.” (Debora Moretti, Magic Ritual and Witchcraft, Vol. 13 (1), 2018)

“Ronald Hutton, Timothy Eastham and their fellow contributors are to be congratulated on a book full of interest. … the book is largely concerned with the English evidence but with a final glance at Australia and United States. Its great merit is that it takes seriously as a subject of study the puzzling graffiti scratched, drawn and painted in buildings. … the book is really the beginning of a conversation rather than the last word on the subject.” (Richard Suggett, Archaeologia Cambrensis, Vol. 166, 2017)

"Few historical works have the capacity to make us see an extended period of history in a completely new way. This deeply enjoyable collection, applying archaeology to the history of ideas, does just that. Ronald Hutton's collection of essayists show how physical and archaeological survivals which have been relegated to the intellectual margins by being classified as merely picturesque, are 'prayers made solid', and deserve our serious consideration in understanding the past." - Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor of the History of the Church, University of Oxford, UK

"A fascinating collection, full of colourful, arresting and sometimes frankly puzzling findings, which pose new questions about continuity and change in popular belief. Readers will be left in no doubt that the 'material culture of magic' is a dimension of the historical record scholars can no longer afford to overlook." - Peter Marshall, University of Warwick, UK