P h o t o B l o g

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Ship Ahoy!

If you look up as you are passing this building in Ashton, you will this carving of what appears to be a Viking boat, complete with sail, oars and shields.

I say "what appears to be" as it looks like the Viking boats I learned about at school, but I am puzzled by the dove emblem on the sail. The dove is often used as a Christian symbol, so what would it be doing on a Viking sail? Perhaps there is someone reading who knows more about this or who knows exactly what this carving is intended to represent?

So, where is this carving to be seen? Those who know Ashton well should be able to answer that immediately. The answer will be given tomorrow.


  1. I would hazard at a guess that that ship is the Argo Piloted by Jason who sent a dove to see if he and his men could make it through the Symplegades

  2. That's an interesting idea, Ashtonioan, and one I hadn't considered. However, Googling for pictures of Argo shows that the shape was likely to have been different, see http://tinyurl.com/argopics

    Compare those images with the ones here: http://tinyurl.com/vikingboats where the shapes are very much like the ones in my photo, but I don't see anything about Vikings using a dove as an emblem!

  3. This looks like the Central Library?
    What an interesting carving...I would love to know what the relevance is,

  4. The dove and the Viking boat do seem at odds. From the land the Viking assimilated into rahter than conquer I wonder if I can shed any light over here.

  5. Do you think the bird might be a representation of a raven? The raven was a viking symbol and according to Dr Kirk's poem, the viking who set up camp at Dukinfield gave the town its name. Dr Kirk suggests that 'Doken' was Danish for raven and thus Dokenfeldt or field of the raven, our Dukinfield!


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