Posted: Nov 04, 2013 1:55 pm
by Clive Durdle
Was here on Saturday

There is a step into which is carved a chiro.

There is a whole discussion about how this shows a move to xianity and then back again with different owners, but I wonder, might it have been a stone mason's mark and nothing to do with xianity?

I noticed a similar ballooning of evidence at Brading. A Mosaic there allegedly has the four evangelists in its corners, but I understand Roman habit was to show the four seasons here.

Are xian tinted glasses a serious problem?

he reason for this total lack of any formal recording of the allocation and use of masons’ marks is probably that there was no single system in use in the middle ages, or earlier. The system is adaptable and there may well have been local variation in the ways that marks were used. Given that marks have been in use for over 4, 000 years it would be surprising if this were not the case. Marks are ciphers, that is they belong to the whole group of symbols that stand outside literacy and enable people to convey very specific information simply. It is a very flexible system and can be found in many societies in which information about ownership, or authorship, has to be passed within a specific group. The marks carry no other meaning beyond the practical one and the system is arcane rather than secret, there was no need for people other than stonemasons to know about it. Current road signs, intended to advise lorry-drivers of by-pass routes, are a modern example of the same thing. The signs consist of four symbols, a circle, a triangle, a square and a diamond and are to be seen on the approaches to towns and cities. Their meaning is known to the people who need to understand them and since the rest of us are not required to use them we are not told what they mean. ... sonsmarks/

Wouldn't it be fun if the ChiRo is a stone mason's mark and people are therefore worshipping the equivalent of road signs!