Arches · Sculpture · Stone heads

Stone head 5

Newport Church, Pembrokeshire
Newport Church, Pembrokeshire

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.

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