Wednesday, 14 March 2018


Beakheads...of these I speak....

A Romanesque style of decoration upon the chancel arch in St Mary Magdalene's in the tiny hamlet of Tortington in West Sussex. These strange fantastical beasts biting down upon the stonework are not very common and tend to be concentrated in certain areas only. It's thought that they were probably painted when they were first carved. Over time I've been lucky enough to see a few examples around the country, but they've all been a repeating pattern. It was the first of my little Mother's Day treats to discover that not only has West Sussex got some of its own, but each one is different. This only came to light when we were taking a closer look at the photos last night. It is thought that they may have been intended to terrify the congregation or perhaps they were there to amuse the kiddies when the sermon went on too long. We shall never know, but I've popped up a couple of close up shots with a little more detail.

A bit of Norman madness!



  1. 1interesting, looked it up -

    but usual stuff about the wicked evilness in society. Maybe A/S origins of the bird. I expect the sculpturors took great pleasure in carving out people they knew......

    1. Theories abound...we are free to invent our own. Who's to say we are not right!


Tracking down the track.

 We've both been enjoying catching up with Professor Alice Roberts [Mr GBT never needs an excuse to watch any programme featuring her!] ...