Eagle Owl corbel completed
22nd February 2017
An eagle owl will look out over Exeter for years to come, thanks to a project to conserve and restore Exeter Cathedral’s East Gable.
Completed earlier this year, the decorated “corbel” stone is the work of Cathedral stonemason Owen Whitfield. It will be fixed to the Cathedral in the coming weeks, replacing a centuries-old medieval stone which is now decayed beyond the point of being saved.
The owl corbel is part of a collection of four pieces that represent the world in which the Cathedral exists in the 20th and 21st centuries. The eagle owl is the emblem of the 307 Polish Night Fighter Squadron based near Exeter during the Second World War. The squadron’s actions in that conflict included helping to defend the city of Exeter during the Baedecker raids of 1942.
2016 also saw an eagle owl take up residence in Exeter for several weeks. The impressive bird of prey was sighted (and heard!) around the city centre and near to the Cathedral.
In total over 300 individual pieces of Beer, Doulting, Portland and Salcombe stone are being replaced in the current East Gable Project. A quarry at Dunscombe Manor (nr Salcombe Regis) reopened in October 2016 to help supply stone for the ongoing works programme.