June 14 – 1066 goes for a walk around Dartington

Turning Head and the Miracle

Hello from 1066 – Medieval mosaic

In the Stamford Bridge section of the mosaic we have a very special scene. It depicts the miracle which occurred at Waltham Abbey which Harold visited on his return from fighting the Battle of Fulford and the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Harold visited Waltham Abbey in order to pray for his success in the upcoming battle in Hastings. As he prayed the head of the stone statue of Jesus is said to have looked down at Harold. Thus a miracle took place.

When Rachael designed this panel she made careful drawings showing the head of Jesus looking up and then when it turned the head would look down. Mike had to carefully paint this piece by piece so that the shoulders match the surrounding pieces. Mike then built a mechanism that allows him to turn the head with a remote control, from a toy car, hidden in his pocket. This mechanism worked for a while but the wood moved and so he needed a metal sleeve to be built by a precision engineer to get the turning head to work properly again. Peter Tanner in Totnes achieved this. Today we picked it up and Mike spent the evening installing it and getting the part to work successfully.

In the afternoon we went for a nice walk around Dartington picking up four caches on our way and we visited Dartington Church again. It is amazing how you think you are out in the countryside and then suddenly there are people there right when you want to look for a cache.