Witch Bottles & Worn Shoes: Home Protection Folklore Practices

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Geffrye Museum of the Home

136 Kingsland Road

London

E2 8EA

United Kingdom

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An evening lecture exploring the ancient practice of home-protection folklore with an exhibition of the hidden boot & other historical items

About this Event

The secrets waiting within the walls of our domestic spaces are often not unearthed until renovation works bring these mysterious items into the light of a new day – and often a new century. During the extensive renovation works preparing the Geffrye: Museum of the Home for its grand reopening next year, one such secret was uncovered. In November 2018, builders discovered an old worn boot that was hidden in a walled up chimney void from when the museum was an almshouse. What was the boot doing there? Since a chimney void is hardly a likely place to accidentally lose a boot, who put it there? What purpose did it serve? Can we truly step into the mindset of the people who interred these objects – or will they remain a mystery?

The answers to these questions come from an ancient heritage of home-protection folklore practices throughout the British Isles reaching back through time – but also practiced far more recently than you might think.

For this evening lecture, we invite you to join Dr Romany Reagan in the restored eighteenth-century Geffrye Almshouse. The evening will begin with a chance to view the hidden boot and the almshouse, alongside an exhibition of other historical items used in home-protection folklore, and enjoy a glass of wine before heading upstairs to learn the curious history of the secrets within our walls.

***Ticket price includes exhibition, lecture, and a glass of wine.

***Doors open 7pm for 30-minute exhibition viewing, lecture begins at 7:30

Romany Reagan received her PhD from Royal Holloway, University of London in performing heritage in 2018. Her practice-based research project ‘Abney Rambles’ is comprised of four audio walks that she researched, wrote, and recorded from 2014 to 2017 within the space of Abney Park cemetery, located in the north London community of Stoke Newington. Researching the layers of heritage that make up Abney Park led to a study of the occult literary heritage of Stoke Newington, ‘earth mystery’ psychogeography, and folklore. Since completion of her PhD, Reagan has expanded her folklore research scope to encompass legends and lore from the British Isles which she is documenting on her blog, Blackthorn & Stone.

Publications: ‘Crossing Paths/Different Worlds in Abney Park Cemetery’, Ways to Wander (Bridport: Triarchy Press) 2015; '"Thoughts on Mourning" Audio Walk Exploring Mourning Heritage and Death Positivity in a Victorian Garden Cemetery', Thanatos Journal, Volume 6, 2017, p50-82; 'The Gendered Garden: Sexual Transgression of Women Walking Alone in Cemeteries', Death & the Maiden, 2017, https://deadmaidens.com/2017/10/10/the-gendered-garden-sexual-transgression-of-women-walking-alone-in-cemeteries/

Website: https://blackthornandstone.com/

Twitter/Instagram: @msromany

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Date and Time

Location

Geffrye Museum of the Home

136 Kingsland Road

London

E2 8EA

United Kingdom

View Map

Refund Policy

Contact the organiser to request a refund.

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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