The Shugborough Code
A harder code to crack than enigma? The experts who solved Nazi Germany's secret codes tackled a mystery code at Shugborough in Staffordshire… but have they solved it and will it lead to the Holy Grail?
I know I'm not the only one who has been gripped by The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown… it tells the story of the search for the Holy Grail, by following clues hidden in paintings by Da Vinci.
But here in Staffordshire we have an alternative theory...
In a quiet corner of a stately home near Stafford - Shugborough Hall - on the so-called "Shepherd’s Monument", are some markings which have baffled people for 250 years.
The inscription is D O.U.O.S.V.A.V.V. M
Can you crack the code?
It needed the very best code breakers… so last year Shugborough got in touch with the legendary Bletchley Park.
At Bletchley, experts had cracked some of the most complex codes in WWII including the famous Enigma. But would it be too much even for their specialist eyes?
They arrived in 2004 and searched through historical archives for clues. After six months of intense study the world waited in anticipated of the findings.
Bletchley short listed two theories...
Her husband Oliver prefers a more mystical solution connected to the Knights Templar, keepers of the Holy Grail.
But the best work came from an unnamed professional code breaker. He came up with a Knight's Templar message: Jesus H Defy.
The “H” is believed to stand for the Greek letter “Chi” meaning Christ and is thought to relate to Templar belief that Jesus was an earthly body rather than celestial.
As to whether the monument reveals the location of the Holy Grail, we still don't know, or perhaps Bletchley are keeping that top secret.
Shugborough's general manager, Richard Kemp suggests that:
"Bletchley Park is saying it's not just the words, it's the juxtaposition of the words, it's the angle of the shepherd's staffs, it's the surroundings, it's the totality of the site."
So the mission to crack the Shugborough code continues... and visitors are still expected from all over the world in search of their own answers.
Of course, another theory is that the code is meaningless and was put there to tease future generations. If that's true... it's definitely succeeding!
»»» To see the BBC Midlands Today video about the Shugborough Code, look for the link on the top right of this page.
last updated: 04/02/2009 at 11:19
Have Your Say
Have you cracked the code? Let us know what your solution (however crazy) is!
Wayne Herschel (author)
Louis J Saayman