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Thursday, 28 June 2012

“Headless Hound”


St Mary The Virgin, Earl Stonham, Suffolk

285159.1 St Mary, Earl Stonham, Suffolk

Sedilia are seats for the clergy. These are usually positioned on the south side of the chancel and have two or three seats. To the east of them is usually a piscina often decorated in a similar style.

St Mary, Earl Stonham, Suffolk

In Earl Stonham the drop sill sedilia has two seats and is incorporated into the window which is unusual, as sedilia are usually backed by the south wall of the chancel. Another example of a window sedilia combination can be seen in Gumley in Leicestershire (below). The two seats in Earl Stonham are separated by a crouching stone hound who unfortunately has lost his head, probably as part of the destruction during the Reformation. I love his long claws and the way his tail is looped over his back and under his back leg. As with many ancient carvings in churches there are a number of scratches on the body of the creature one which looks like a cross. It was the norm many years ago to scratch graffiti into monuments when visiting churches examples of which can be seen even in our grand cathedrals.
St Mary, Earl Stonham, Suffolk

Earl Stonham church is open every day

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