In time for the 2012 Open Season, City of Bath College stonemasonry students have shed light on a mysterious figure perched on top of Woodchester Mansion.
Carving a pair of ‘hunkypunk’ figures to replace a badly weathered original, students Sam Flintham and Phil Windley have identified the original as a medieval figure representing ‘the restraint of sin’.
The grotesque carving shows a monkey, with wings on his back that identify him possibly as one of Satan’s fallen angels, with his wrists manacled in chains.
Student mason Sam Flintham says; “In medieval art a monkey represented sin or the devil and when shown in chains indicated their defeat by faith and virtue. A chained monkey can also represent man trapped by his desires. The carving is part of the symbolic language built into the Mansion identifying it as a house of virtue and Godliness.”
One of the carvings will be on permanent display inside the Mansion alongside its original, while the other has pride of place on the North West gable, to the left of the main entrance.
Pictured are Phil Windley (left) and Sam Flintham (right) with their new carvings