Monday, 1 June 2009


What manner of beast is this?

It's a grotesque on the tower of a Norman church. These creatures are a common feature in this region - over in Somerset they are known as hunky punks. Here they have no name. They are just there - staring down on the Sunday worshipers as they file their way to mass.

But what are they? What are they supposed to represent? Half goat? Half pig? What possesssed those 12th Century sculptors to carve such creatures?

If anyone has any ideas I'd love to know!


  1. Interesting things. I guess the horns make it reminiscent of pagan figures such as Pan that were repurposed by the Christians in representations of Satan and demons. But equally the ram (or is it a goat?) might just be represented simply because it was a significant animal in the rural Somerset of the 12th C. Or maybe the stonemason just chose to carve it for purely aesthetic reasons.

    Incidentally, have you read William Golding's The Spire?

  2. Looks like a stag to me.

    One of these books might help you identify your monster:


Please share you thoughts, I'd love to hear from you....