Wednesday, 17 April 2019

A Miscellany of Mosaics

On my travels around Somerset I have come across the following colourful mosaics.  Some of them aren't strictly true mosaics but they have a similar format.

In March 2002, with the help of a youth worker and a professional artist, the West One Youth Club in Crewkerne designed and created a set of mosaics outside what is currently the West One Surgery in West Street, Crewkerne.  The project was funded by the National Lottery and Crimebeat.

West One Mosaic, Crewkerne

West One Mosaic, Crewkerne

West One Mosaic, Crewkerne

Plaque on the West One Mosaic, West Street, Crewkerne

Diamond Jubilee Mosaic, St Thomas Street, Wells

Brick mosaic on the back wall of Taunton Canoe Club in Priory Bridge Road, Taunton
This photo was taken on a very snowy day in March 2018

To celebrate the Millennium, the children of Brookside School in Street created this 140 Smiles "mosaic".  The figures are self-portraits by the children from Years 3 and 4 in 2000.  They were helped by ceramic artist Julia Gatrill.

140 Smiles, High Street, Street

Victoria Park, Taunton

Pastoral scene mosaic on the public toilets, Wheddon Cross public car park

Winsford Village Hall

In October 2001 George Caton and the Osborne family discovered a large  Romano-British mosaic floor at Lopen near Ilminster..  They contacted Somerset County Council's archaeological team and over the next three weeks the mosaic was fully excavated, cleaned, recorded and then covered over again to protect it from the elements.  An 8 roomed villa was revealed, which is thought to date from about 360AD. The mosaic is believed to be the work of the Saltire School, who were based at Corinium (now Cirencester).  The designs used in the mosaic included large squares, saltires, a dolphin, a cantharus (two handled cup), flowers, fish, heart shaped leaves and guilloche (plaits or braids). 

The loose tesserae, which were found in the soil around the mosaic were donated to the village by the land owners and used to recreate a section of the mosaic.  Volunteers washed and sorted the pieces and Nicholas Durnan and Gina Wright placed the 3,000 or so pieces into lime mortar to create a cantharus.  It was completed in 2002 and is now on display on the floor of All Saints Church in Lopen.  The surround is made from Ham Stone.

Cantharus Mosaic, All Saints Church, Lopen

Lopen Church Mosaic

Seasons Mosaic, Grove Park, Weston-super-Mare

Grove Park, Weston-Super-Mare


Aller Dragon on the side of Aller Village Hall

Aller bus shelter
This mosaic includes historic characters from the village's past e.g. King Alfred, his wife Ealhswith, their son Edward, the Viking leader Guthrum and the Aller Dragon.  The mosaic and the one of the Aller Dragon above were apparently made by local potter Bryan Newman but I have not been able to confirm this or find out when they were made.

Aller bus shelter mosaic - right hand panel

Aller bus shelter mosaic - left hand panel

Yin and yang mosaic in the sensory garden at Vivary Park, Taunton

Dragonfly pebble mosaic on the side of the River Tone near Firepool Lock

St Decuman pebble mosaic, Watchet
This pebble mosaic, which is located outside Watchet Library, commemorates the arrival of St Decuman in Watchet by boat from Wales in the late 7th century.  It was created in 1996 by Maggy Howarth of Cobblestone Designs.  St Decuman brought his favourite cow with him, which can be seen in the photo above.  He came to evangelise the people of West Somerset but he wasn't welcomed by everyone and was beheaded.  Being a saint, this wasn't a problem to him, as he washed the blood from it in the waters of a holy well and put it back on his shoulders.

Compass rose in the St Decuman pebble mosaic, Watchet

St Decuman's severed head

Sword used to cut off St Decuman's head

No comments:

Post a comment