Keeping your eyes open

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I am very fortunate to live close to Cardiff, the epi-centre of William Burgess’ works for the Marquess of Bute and whose neo-Gothic work I am frequently able to enjoy as it is everywhere within the centre of that city. It would be quite easy to have a blog dedicated to the decorative work applied to even the very mundane buildings built at the turn of the 19th century; walking through the city it can feel like every doorway is surrounded by a Corinthian pillar or decorative panel, or both.

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  but this little chap really tickled me.   

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It pays to keep your eyes open.  I bet dozens of people walk past him every day and most have never seen him – this is the only example I have ever seen, in fact it is the only example of an animal that I know of carved into a pillar of an external doorway, although they often appear on doorways inside major buildings such as Cardiff Castle and Castell Coch.  I would love to know the story behind this cheeky monkey! Did the landowner commission something special or did the mason have a fit of mischief?!

p.s. sometimes, as a special treat, (I sound really sad)~ I sneak into the HSBC branch on Queen Street to enjoy the restored ceiling and balcony level but they rather frown on taking photos, so no piccies sorry.

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