Stone heads

Stone head 20: capitals

St Andrews, Congresbury, N Somerset
St Andrews, Congresbury, N Somerset
St Davids Cathedral, Pembrokeshire
St Davids Cathedral, Pembrokeshire

A pair of historiated or figured capitals, one in England, the other in Wales; one of a king, the other of an allegorical figure (perhaps Gluttony) biting a pillar; the English head is medieval (the nose smashed by Puritans is diagnostic) but the Welsh head may well be a piece of Victorian whimsy

Capitals (from Latin caput, ‘head’) were placed at the top of pillar, usually at a load point such as the springing of an arch; the Congresbury example seems to have no such function but serves to mark the entrance to the sanctuary of the church

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