A record of wildlife in my garden and various trips to the Warwickshire countryside and occasionally further afield.
"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."
From "Auguries of Innocence"
by William Blake
Thursday, 28 April 2011
I read an interesting story in the Birmingham Evening Mail last week about a group of 6 stone Griffin statues. Local residents are apparently taking steps to apply for a Heritage Lottery Bid to pay for the restoration of the statues.
When I gave my son a lift home from his office at Fort Dunlop on Easter Monday we made a detour on the way home to have a look at the statues.
At the beginning of the twentieth century the statues stood along the roof of the original Lewis's Department Store in Birmingham City Centre. When the building was demolished the statues were moved to Yorks Wood where 6 Griffins formed a line near the entrance to the wood. Each statue is about 8 to 10 feet high and each is slightly different from its companions.
I must admit I don't remember ever having seen the statues before but my husband knew all about them as he used to regularly attend scout camps in Yorks Wood when he was young.
In 1972 the Scout camp closed and much of the wood was lost (only a small remnant remains today) when a housing estate called Shard End was built but the Griffin statues remain to the present day.
Griffins are mythical Greek creatures with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. They were powerful and majestic legendary creatures that often guarded treasures.
There is a rumour, although no evidence has been found to support it, that the statues were given to the City of Birmingham by a Tsar of Russia.
It is interesting to read in a book called "Castle Bromwich in the Past - Part 2" by J. Dutton and C. Green that originally there were nine statues on the Lewis's building so where are the other 3? If anyone has seen any of the missing 3 Griffin statues in or around Birmingham I would love to hear from them.
Welcome to my blog. I have been interested in natural history from an early age and we have tried to create a garden attractive to wildlife. I also enjoy reading, photography, collecting fossils, visiting historic buildings and gardens and supporting Aston Villa. Please feel free to leave a comment and, if you would like to email me, my email address is ciraggedrobinsATgmail.com - remember to replace AT with @. Thank you for visiting.