Sunday, 12 January 2014

Ancient dragons

The Ipstones Tympanum at the Church of St Leonard

The Saxon history of the county has been under extra scrutiny since the discovery of the Staffordshire Hoard.
But there is already a fair bit of Saxon-era stuff to be seen, though most of it is largely ignored really and a bit mysterious.

In the Church of St Leonard in Ipstones, two hundred years ago, some builders found this sculpted relief under some plaster.  The relief was in the archway of a door - the technical term for that is that it is a tympanum; and so the piece is known as The Ipstones Tympanum.
It is about 1000 years old, and clearly uses saxon art-motifs.

It shows dragons fighting.  Nobody really knows much more than that about it.

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