Architectural Curios

I like architectural curios. I think I mean by that I like features or whole buildings, with or without a real purpose, where efforts have been made to make things interesting for the observer.

I recently came across the corbel table at Studland Church, down on the Dorset Coast near Swanage. Actually, we had gone to Swanage, but when there we realised there was a good bus service to Studland (and beyond) and as we are of the bus pass generation we decided we’d go to Studland, take a walk there and then come back. Studland is a place where you pay quite a bit to park. This way we could leave the car in Swanage where, in winter months you can park cheaply.

And that may have left you wondering what a corbel table is for long enough. It isn’t a table to sit at and eat off. It is, actually, the support for a roof. Some churches have gone in for carvings of all sorts to help support the roof and Studland is one of them,


That gives the idea. Plain lumps of stone could have been used, but why not make them decorative.


There are faces – human and others.


Some portray activities you might not expect on a church.


That’s as far as I’ll go, but other carvings are (or were when new) grossly vulgar.

Of course, these carvings had a purpose – warning of sins and dangers.

Some might say the church is a little austere.


You have to look for the details to realise it has architectural curios and is a work of art.

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