can you see what it is yet?
Then think park. Think bench.
Lozenge-shaped eyes, ovoid face, slit mouth: this is a classic ‘Celtic’ head.
Although St Mary’s church in Newport, Pembrokeshire was given the usual Victorian makeover, this carving from the previous structure survived by being placed discreetly behind the chancel arch.
Presumably so as not so offend Victorian aesthetics.
Any other medieval sculpture sadly now seems lost to us.
I wonder if the nostrils have been added subsequently: such stone heads often just had a bulbous nose.
It’s very likely this one was damaged by an excess of Puritan zeal.
The curve of this passageway betrays its former existence as a lane backing onto the former city walls, the latter now a mere memory.
A veritable slice through history is revealed, from the 21st-century Centrespace boards to the 19th century and beyond: cobbles; curved brick piers; the timbers of the jetty thrown over the lane; the distant gated brick archway; the worn features of the bearded stone head keystone atop the nearer arch.
Just the intrusive (and rather pointless) no-parking yellow lines to remind us of the present.
An example of crass sixties brutalism sits next door to Edward Everard’s exquisite Printing Works, an Art Nouveau façade designed in 1900.
Simply referencing some details (arch, bricks, tiling, scale) don’t guarantee that this works as a ‘good neighbour’.
To think that the Art Nouveau design was nearly demolished in 1967 for yet more anonymous façades…