Sunday, 16 August 2015

Old English Wisdom

The North Elmham Rood Screen - a man riding a pig. The carving dates from, it is thought, the fifteenth century, but the sentiment is Anglo-Saxon, according to "A Clerk Of Oxford" who writes about Old English sayings here.  (It's number ten on the list).

"It’s up to the pig now, said the man sat on the boar’s back".

It's interesting to think of this pre-conquest salty wisdom, being passed down in a remote, extremely rural setting, via generations of country-folk. The carving has survived all that has been thrown at it, and we can see it today much as it was when first set up. 

Those short, pithy utterances have a deep earthy humour to them, which tickles me. 


  1. I love this sort of thing - we spent hours in the Chapterhouse at York admiring all the carved stone little people and trying to work out who they were/what they were telling us!

    1. Yes, I had no idea what this meant when I took the photograph. It just intrigued me, and later, thanks to Clerk, it all made sense!