Monsters and mythical beasts uncovered in stonework of Exeter Cathedral

Monsters and mythical beasts uncovered in stonework of Exeter Cathedral

4th February 2014

A horde of monsters and mythical beasts obscured in the stonework at Exeter Cathedral have been brought to life in a new book by stonemason Alex Woodcock.

Alex, who has worked at the Cathedral since 2008, has written a new book exploring the images carved into roof bosses, misericords and other stone and woodwork of Exeter Cathedral. These include mermaids, Green Men, saints musicians and animals, some mythical, some real. His book, Of Sirens and Centaurs, explores the medieval contexts and possible meanings of these carvings, tracing their history and the working lives of the stonemasons and carvers who made them.  From plants and dragons to scenes of the Crucifixion the sculpture at Exeter, particularly that of the late-thirteenth and early-fourteenth centuries, represents some of the best work in European medieval art.

Alex said: “I think we have some of the best Gothic sculpture in the country and there hasn’t been a book available on the subject for over 30 years. So many of the best examples are hidden from view, or are in areas difficult to reach. I hope this book brings some of these fabulous creations to life for visitors.”

Of Sirens and Centaurs is published by local publisher, Impress Books and is available from Cathedral Shop (01392 271354).

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