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Found: Very Old Peacock Graffiti Left Behind by Religious Pilgrims

Peacocks represented eternal life to early Christians.

St. Peter’s Church in Sudbery, England—a small town northeast of London—was once a way station on a pilgrimage. Less than 20 miles north, about a day’s walk, is Bury St. Edmund, where pilgrims would visit St. Edmund’s shrine. On the way there, they might have stopped over at this church for a night’s rest—and left something behind.

Recently, when graffiti experts examined the church, they found an overlooked bit of graffiti on one of the stone walls. Someone, most likely a pilgrim, had left a peacock behind, reports the East Anglian Daily Times.

It’s faint enough that Roger Green, part of the Friends of St. Peters, told the paper, that, “I have passed it so many times since 1973 when I became involved with the church but I have never noticed it before.”

In Christian symbolism, the peacock represents immortality, or eternal life. It’s associated more with early Christianity than present day Christian art, but as far as graffiti in churches goes, it’s actually pretty appropriate.