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Unlocking our past: a mythical creature to stir the imagination.

Updated: Dec 20, 2022

The Stone Griffin: Who doesn’t love a mythical creature to stir the imagination?

Ancient and medieval depictions of griffins as stone sculpture and as illustrations within manuscripts are found throughout Europe and the Middle East.

The griffin is a mythological creature with the body, tail and back legs of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. A combination of two formidable creatures, powerful and majestic, a creature not to be messed with!

The Canterbury Archaeological Trust’s find at #Whitefriars, would most likely have been on prominent display within a building of some importance.

Given the divine and Christian connotations of the griffin, such symbolism would have been appropriate amongst complex of buildings discovered at the excavation site. The carved stone fragment was found within the original warming room of the friary.

Despite its damaged state, the carving is of considerable importance as it indicates the tradition of sculptural production at Canterbury.

Elements of the carved stone fragment - its style, subject matter and carving technique - suggest a date in the early twelfth century.

To see the Griffin in detail and learn more about this majestic piece go to:

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