Friday, 12 September 2008

The Smoking Hound

On the Northern side of Exeter Cathedral is this rather fine grotesque of a hound smoking a pipe . It pre-dates the current attitudes of the Cathedral staff:-

In fact, it was carved by Peter Dare, the former head stonemason, around 1990, when they were replacing the badly weathered grotesques on that side. It is based on a dog called Butch that frequented a pub in Exmouth in the 70's and 80's and enjoyed a pipe of tobacco along with its owner.

Many other grotesques can also be found on the north side of the cathedral. Among them are one of a bishop and one of Dido the Seagull, Exeter City's feathered mascot. In the 1960's, Bishop Mortimer was a fervent Exeter City supporter, and it was said that the team always won when a seagull landed on the pitch.

Here are some of my other favourirtes from the North side.

The following grotesques are among the many on the Southern side.

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