St Boltolph's Church - Stow Longa , Cambs
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Norfolk12
N 52° 18.638 W 000° 22.628
30U E 678796 N 5798827
A 12th century church tucked away down a lane in Stow Longa, Cambs.
Waymark Code: WMERHK
Location: Eastern England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 07/01/2012
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Dragontree
Views: 2

details from wikipepdia

'' Mermaid Stone
The Anglican church of Stow Longa is known as St Botolph's, since it is dedicated to St Botolph, which dates to the 13th century, though a stone slab with inter-laced works (probably pre-Conquest) on the south-side indicates an earlier date.

Though peaceful and fairly hidden today, the church in Stow Longa has had a remarkable history. Stow Longa was confirmed a prebend by Pope Eugene III on the 6th February 1146, and again by Pope Alexander III on the 5th January 1163. A minster or mother-church of the local estate (which included Stow Longa, Spaldwick, Easton, Little Catworth, Barham and Upthorpe) before its importance was subsumed by Spaldwick and Kimbolton, St Botolph's wealth and importance attracted noted figures to the prebendary, such as Thomas Wolsey, who was Stow Longa's prebend from 1509 to 1514.

Above the priest door, outside the east side of the church, is the nationally famous stone carving known as the Mermaid Stone (or the Beckoning Mermaid Stone), since the engraving displays a mermaid between two creatures. According to one source, the creature on the right of the mermaid represents the crocodile (a creature of damnation) and the creature on the left of the mermaid, though on our right, represents the lamb, i.e. the Lamb of God (Jesus Christ).

an alternative interpretation of the Mermaid Stone could be:

Sins - the mermaid represents the sin of lust, whilst going in the direction of the beast on her right (representing hell) and turning her back against the beast on her left (representing the Kingdom of God).
Anti-Paganism - even though this interpretation has no real backup, the Mermaid Stone may represent (based on the fact that a stream passes by the church) the struggle between Goddess worship (who may be either a river deity or whose attributes are scourned as lustful) - going towards Hell and leaving Christ - and the emerging Christian religion.''
Approximate Age of Artefact: 12th - 14th century

Relevant Website: [Web Link]

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