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Tony Grist

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Norwich Roof Boss #1 [Sep. 7th, 2019|05:27 pm]
Tony Grist
Norwich Cathedral has the largest collection of medieval roof bosses in the world. I had a go at photographing the ones in the nave but they're too high up for a handheld camera to capture without wobble and they defeated me; the ones in the cloister were a different matter.

The Cathedral cloisters were destroyed in the late 13th century in the course of a dispute between town and abbey that escalated into open warfare. The cits installed archers in the tower of the nearby church of St George, Tombland and the archers employed flaming arrows...

Rebuilding began in 1297 and continued until 1430. The bosses therefore span a period of well over a century. The earliest are chiefly decorative, the later ones include various story cycles, including a set of images from the Book of Revelations. There's some freaky stuff in the mix.

I propose to post an image a day until I run out...

Number one is a straightforward green man- except that it isn't. I didn't notice at the time but under the wonderfully fierce character with the branches coming out of his mouth is another male head. Is there a story here? Or was the mason just indulging his fancy?

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2019-09-08 08:29 am (UTC)

This one has always fascinated me. There must be a story here. There usually is. I have a very hard to find  ( it has been in and out of publication for quite a while) book about the bosses and will check to see if there is some bit of information there.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2019-09-08 10:05 am (UTC)
I'd be happy if you would. There are some very weird images to come. There's one in particular I just can't get a handle on.
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[User Picture]From: inamellowmood
2019-09-08 09:28 pm (UTC)
Wow, that's really unusual, with the second face. Beautiful work.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2019-09-09 07:38 am (UTC)
Also those are chestnut leaves, I think. We have a couple of big chestnut trees and they're just beginning to shed.
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[User Picture]From: inamellowmood
2019-09-10 12:58 am (UTC)
Yeah, I think you're right. Chestnut or big-leaf maple is what they look like to me, and you don't have big-leaf maple in Britain --- or at any rate didn't back then. (I know it may have been introduced more recently.)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2019-09-10 10:24 am (UTC)
We have several maple trees and they do very well but they're exotics that my parents planted.
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