Stone figure identity traced back to carver

The carving on the side of The Stump. Picture: Ian Moore.
The carving on the side of The Stump. Picture: Ian Moore.

Have you noticed this unusual piece of decoration on the side of The Stump?

Former Boston man Ian Moore photographed it and shared it on social media in a bid to find out more.

The Standard contacted Adam Kelk, head verger at The Stump, who said the team there did not know anything about its origins.

However, stonemasons Phil and Tony Leonard, who worked at The Stump for 35 years until retirement in 2015, were able to shed light on its history.

Phil said that it is a self-portrait of stone carver Beauford Linley, who was hired to work on the south side of the church by architect Nicholas Rank.

According to Phil, Nicholas gave Beauford free rein on his design, and it was not uncommon for stonemasons to create unique grotesques such as the one in this case.

Phil believes the creation was carved somewhere between 2002 and 2004.

In recognition of their years of hard work, Phil and Tony Leonard also had their faces carved in stone and placed inside the Cotton Chapel ahead of their retirement.