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This deeply carved freestone (probably Bath Stone) block measures 42cm on its longest side (the back), and is 21cm wide and 25cm deep. It was found several decades ago among a slew of discarded items in Nightingale Valley, and so has no archaeological context. It is believed to have been discarded from a stonemason's yard in the mid 20th century.
The carvings may depict representations of real vegetation, such as hops, although the large flower with six petals may simply be a stylised flower with no specific species in mind.
The lower of the two views shows two straight lines that frame the carving. These are thought to be guidelines used by the mason to indicate the parts of the stone that would eventually be embedded in a wall or ceiling. There does not appear to be any mortar adhering to the stone, suggesting it is a new carving although it could be something taken from an ancient building and cleaned ready for reuse in a new location.
Find spot: Nightingale Valley, Brislington, Bristol. ST 619715
Exhibit contributed by Tony Souter
Text written by Ken Taylor, in 2011
Photographer: Dawn Witherspoon
Acquisition number: 110515a1