KENT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY  -- RESEARCH   Studying and sharing Kent's past      Homepage

     Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 45 1933  page 7
THE SCULPTURED ORNAMENT OF THE SOUTH DOORWAY OF BARFRESTON CHURCH. By the Rev. A. H. Collins, M.A.

of a travelling entertainer. I suggest rather that they are enjoying food. The animal on the right may have a hive in his paw.
   (18) A Blemya seated with his features upon his chest.
Mr. Druce has dealt with this monstrosity in " Some Abnormal and Composite Human Forms in English Church Architecture," reprinted from Archaeological Journal, 1915. The earliest MS. that is given by him as containing the Blemya dates from 1180. Examples are found also on misericords at Norwich, Ripon and Kingís Lynn. Mr. Druce is inclined to think that we have here an ordinary man with his head bent forward, so as to fit it into rather a small medallion.
Plate VIII
   (19) A large bird such as a stork or crane, and a goat with a pail which he is offering to the bird. A variant of Aesopís fable of the Crane and the Fox.
   (20) Two figures collar-wrestling.
I have found similar figures on the South doorway at Foston, Yorkshire, and also on a Norman corbel on the 

North wall of Kitham in the East Riding. The Barfreston  figures are clothed and each has his head on the otherís shoulder. The left man seems to have a fold of the clothes of his antagonist in his teeth. The same subject is treated and illustrated in A. Kingsley Porterís The Crosses and Culture of Ireland.
  
In this book examples are given from the Durrow and Kells Market Crosses. In the latter example the figures are naked. The subject occurs also at Castle Dermot with the additional detail that one is kicking the other. Continental examples are also given: viz, from the window of a thirteenth century house at Chartres, the West Front of Notre Dame, Poitiers, c. 1130, and from a later century at Lyons.
   In all his instances the interpretation given by Kingsley Porter is Jacob wrestling with the Angel. This view is
   1 Romilly Allenís Christian Symbolism, p. 256, illustrates this subject from Hutton Cranswick font, Yorkshire, without explanation. Cowlam font in the same county has similar figures.

Page 7  (This page prepared for the Website by Ted Connell)                  

Previous Page        Back to Page listings      Next Page      

For details about the advantages of membership of the Kent Archaeological Society   click here

Back the Contents page      Back to Arch. Cant. List      To Publications On-line      To Research Page    To Homepage

Kent Archaeological Society is a registered charity number 223382
© Kent Archaeological Society September 2004

This website is constructed by enthusiastic amateurs. Any errors noticed by other researchers will be to gratefully received so
 that we can amend our pages to give as accurate a record as possible. Please send details too research@kentarchaeology.org.uk