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Norman Stones
 We have now been able to build a set of stone shelves beside the show case, displaying carvings from the Norman church which was probably built in around 1130 and replaced in around 1230.  This sheet tells you about them.  When the ‘Heritage in Stone’ booklet is reprinted we will of course combine the two texts. 

THE HIGHEST STONE – A NORMAN CAPITAL 









































The stone that dominates this display probably once stood at the top of a semi-circular pillar standing against a wall, or possibly capped a round column back-to-back with a duplicate stone. 

The late Sir Nikolaus Pevsner in his Buildings of England: Cumberland and Westmorland describes it as the most beautiful of all Norman capitals in the two counties.  He comments that "it has leaves, including an almost Grecian honeysuckle motif”.  The style of carving and the square top (abacus) of the stone date it to not later than 1175. 

A STRANGE MANNIKIN







































The block on the left hand side of the top shelf would have capped a slender, round, column.  It bears carving that is certainly the weirdest displayed here!  

The heads and forelegs of two animals – probably hounds – meet at the corner of the block.  The animals have collars, and quite fearsome teeth.   Their muzzles meet above a rather grotesque human head and their forepaws touch below it.   But the figure has no torso: its legs jut from below the animals’ paws.  We don’t understand the symbolism, but the carving does have similarities with those dating from Viking times. 

A PATTERN OF FLOWERS 











































On the right hand side of the top shelf a somewhat similar block would also have projected from a wall to cap a slender circular shaft.  It displays a row of stems bearing regularly-paired leaves, topped by rounded flowers - possibly of some kind of lily. 

THE SECOND SHELF: SHELLS, LEAVES AND WHORLS















































The fragment on the left of the centre shelf (displayed upside down to make the carvings more visible) also once capped a shaft or half-column.  In the angle between two sides there is a carving resembling a scallop shell, flanked by curving scroll work.  Extending towards the base (now top) of the stone there is a pattern of ovals and uprights.   

The much eroded block on the right (also placed upside down) is another capital. It bears carving of deeply incised leaves, below a pair of prominent scrolls.  

The rectangular sandstone block in the centre again bears a prominent carved scroll below a rather strange carving that probably represents petals and fruits.    

THE LOWER SHELF : SOME LESSER FRAGMENTS













































The two limestone blocks on the left bear sections of vertical mouldings that once flanked doorways or recesses.  

The eroded slab of limestone in the centre (standing on an ancient but uncarved block of sandstone) was probably part of a capital.  Shallow curved ribs run across the stone from side to side, with bulbous bosses, possibly meant to be flowers, below.  

On the right we have the broken remnants of another capital.  Hardly any carving remains and most of the stone has been roughly chipped, probably to fit it into a later wall.