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« Letter to America - Chapter 30 - The Escape | Main | A Special Message for Listeners of LTA - Chapter 30 »

April 11, 2006



I was on an easyjet flight last week, looking thru the inshite magazine, i noticed it gave an insiders tip of how great this gallery was. Thats how quickly this placed closed.


There could be several explanations for this carving.

While most people (including myself) would call this a 'gargoyle', this is actually a 'grotesque'. The difference is a gargoyle, by the strict definition of the word, is a carving of some combination of animal / human serving as a waterspout. A Grotesque is merely a carving in the side of a building or structure (can be just a face or an entire scene).

This particular Grotesque can most likely be identified as "The Green Man" judging from the foliage that appears to be coming out of his mouth and surrounding his head. Green Man represents an ancient diety - the forest god, or god of the oak. It is a symbol of fertility and rebirth, with nature merging with humanity.

There are beliefs that the Green Man has something to do with Celtic religion as well. It is said the Celts "worshipped" the human head and in battle would cut off the heads and hoist them up on poles to ward off evil spirits. These heads were sometimes wrapped in leaves to honor some diety or tree-spirit, like the Green Man.

There are also many derivations of this legend, including a "green knight" who served under King Arthur. Different forms of the Green Man emerged and faded over time, so there is no clear answer if this is what this carving represents.

There is not much known about the exact origins of gargoyles and grotesques, and they are based on many wide-ranging myths and legends. There is plenty of religious and pagan symbolism, but the stories are confusing as to which is actually true as some say Christian churches used them to "scare" people into coming to church, and other stories say they are pagan gods, like Green Man. Many times they are nothing but decorations. Fact is, it is probably some combination of all of the above.

There is plenty of interesting history on these creatures on the internet.

And that is my Northern Ireland story of the week.


I consider myself properly schooled on that, thanks Phil!

(I'd come back with some quip or another but I'm too busy researching my next big Story of the Week...just after I finish my nap, that is.)


Re-opening under a new name? The 'sculpted bog-oak chairs designed to appeal to the cultivated upper-middle class house-decorationandappreciation-market Gallery'?

(I'm not joking)

Jett Loe

Could be Needia...

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