First it was the Burton’s foundation stones, then the cockerels and now two heads above Oxfam on Market St. Have I been walking around Lichfield with my eyes closed for the last 7 years?
I have discovered from the listed building description that the correct term is corbel heads. I’ve taken a close up of each of them.
Information on these heads is pretty thin on the ground. The listed building description tells us that the building is late C16th, does this mean that the heads date back to this period too? I’m not quite sure whether the one on the right is supposed to be sad or asleep (or as someone on twitter suggested ‘three sheets to the wind’). Do they represent some sort of old joke or story or moral? The building was a pub from at least 1793 (first record) until it closed in 1962.
There is a photo of The Castle on the Staffs Pastrack website, taken in the early part of the C20th. One peculiar thing, although this might just be me, is that the head on the right doesn’t look the same. I think on the old photo it looks like he has a beard but he looks like he’s had a shave since! On the subject of the old photo, what is that circular object between the pub windows, beneath the lamp? The thing that looks a bit like an anachronistic satellite dish.
It’s just occured to me as I’m typing this that I could pop in & ask in the Oxfam shop if anyone knows anything. Of course, if there are any corbel head experts out there, please let me know your thoughts!
Information on The Castle, taken from ‘The Old Pubs of Lichfield’ by John Shaw