Pastor’s Corner

Boots in the belfry

Categories: Church

Architect John Bolt and his team are continuing the process of putting together Zion’s preservation plan. During an examination of the steeple, his engineers photographed these boots nailed to a post inside the belfry-50 feet up! Curious, John reached out to colleague who provided a thesis paper on the topic of “Homemade Magic: Concealed Deposits in Architectural Contexts in the Eastern United States” by M. Chris Manning of Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana. In Chapter 4 of his thesis, Manning writes that, among other things, it is believed that “concealed shoes were placed near chimneys and thresholds to guard the vulnerable openings of a building”. He writes that “in the British Isles, continental Europe, and around the world, thousands of shoes and other footwear dating from the early 14th through the early 20th century have been found concealed within the fabric of buildings.” Manning writes, “known as concealed shoes or concealment shoes, these deposits have puzzled scholars for decades. The first serious attempt to document concealed footwear occurred in the 1950s. Today, more than a decade later, the number of concealed footwear deposits is estimated over 2,000.” Who knew?!! If you are interested in reading this publication, it will be posted on the Zion website for your reading pleasure. One wonders what other gems are hidden in our old church building?




2 Responses to "Boots in the belfry"

  1. June Swann Posted on December 15, 2017 at 6:20 am

    Read June Swann, ‘Interpreting Concealed Shoes and Associated Finds p.115 – 119 in
    Inger Ericsson & Rainer Atzbach, Concealed Finds from Buildings in Central Europe,
    published 2005, scripvaz-Verlag Berlin

  2. June Swann Posted on December 15, 2017 at 6:25 am

    The most comprehensive article was published Berlin in 2005
    Concealed Finds in Central Europe

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