CANTERBURY HISTORICAL 

& ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY (CHAS)

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Corbels (or Brackets)

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The city's older buildings include several examples of carved wooden corbels depicting grotesque women with large breasts and, often, cloven hooves.  One has wings; some of the faces look more male than female.  Most appear to be primarily decorative and have no structural role in the building - this technically makes them brackets rather than true corbels.

 

Little seems to be known about their origins, age, or purpose, other than some vague hope of warding off disease or evil spirits.  Any further information would be welcome.  

 

Click on the attached examples to learn where they can be found.

 

 

DL