Wednesday, 2 March 2016

60 happy customers

I should have posted this yesterday to coincide with St Davids Day but all things are a little on the late side here at Straker Towers. We have just returned from a delightful break in Pembrokeshire - a county I know well and love dearly, but just like Norfolk it takes an age to get there. You think you are almost there and bang! Another few hours to go.

My trusty Shell Guide and Pevsner always accompany me on such trips, nothing has been produced since that even comes close to them. One of the joys of the Shell Guides is doing a modern day comparison with the superb photographs of Edwin Smith or Piper - I am pleased to say that in Pembs not a lot has changed.  

I have not visited St Davids cathedral since I was a child and on this particular day it was absolutely deserted - my mission was to view the 60 heads in the cathedral quire. Now, it didn't help that I had recently watched the utterly brilliant MR James story The Stalls of Barchester........if you know the story you will of course know that carvings form a great part of this chilling tale. I was the only one creeping around the quire. It was dimly lit and the day was dreary - needless to say the carvings were amazing including those of the green man on the stall seats. I looked over my shoulder more than once I can tell you.

They are pristine and probably in the same condition as first carved over 500 years ago. Each about the size of a 50p piece.The majority are of human faces and about twenty are of the grotesque. People or animal? Not sure really, very similar to those stunning stone carvings at Kilpeck where I have lost many an hour in wonderment. The joy for me is wondering just what, who and why?


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