‘Malefic Midlands’ is currently a small, informal, and independent research project, developed in order to record and evaluate the post-medieval material remains of ritual practices principally performed to ward off evil spirits and witchcraft. The project in general focuses on the Midlands region of England, specifically in and around the county of Derbyshire, during 16th – 18th centuries, and examines housing, religious buildings and other ritual sites and community contexts within the wider landscape.
The project is run by archaeologist, Dr Kirsten Jarrett, and uses data obtained through archaeological building investigations carried out as part of Living in the Past Community Archaeology Project (LIPCAP), which she directs, and draws upon her research into postmedieval death, burial, ritual and religion within the study areas. MM project findings may feed into a community project that she co-directs (‘Past Sense Project’: ‘PSP’), which analyses the material environments of domestic and sexual violence and abuse in the past. More information on the background of MM, and on Kirsten’s research, is available in a post on her blog, Notes of an Antiquary.