IT TOOK three months to design and carve; and placing it on the
top of the buttress on the north-west front of
Exeter Cathedral was no easy matter. Yet, from the
ground, its intricacy and the skill it represents will be entirely
lost to human view.
This is one of the new finial stones to replace those worn away
by wind and weather. The previous ones were 18th-century,
themselves replacements for still earlier stones. "These pieces",
the Clerk of Works at the cathedral, Chris Sampson, says, "are just
some of the first that our four stonemasons will be working on.
There is a huge amount of work to be done to repair and create
carved elements of the cathedral, much of it involving carved heads
and other intricate sculpture."
Two new stonemasons have been recruited to carry out the work on
the 900-year-old building, which is one of the most flamboyantly
carved of our cathedrals. They have been funded by the Friends of