Beneath the immense tower of the cathedral there are two arched porches, The Rankin Porch looks out across the city to the river, The Welsford Porch opens out above the great abyss of St. James's Gardens. The Welsford is now partly incorporated into the cathedral cafeteria as an area for al fresco dining but is usually also accessible from the road that runs 'behind' the cathedral looking across to Gambier Terrace. Inside the porch there are 13 statues within and around the tri-form doors. A figure of Christ, risen from the tomb presides over the composition with two angels at a lower level, below them beside and between the doors are ten statues of prophets and apostles. Reading left to right they are; David with his harp, Isaiah the prophesier holding a scroll to his ear, Jeremiah holding an inverted ewer, Ezekiel, Daniel with the lion around his shoulders, John eschewing the serpent, Luke with a winged ox, Mark with the winged lion of the wilderness, Matthew with the winged evangelist at his ear and Paul with the 'Sword of the Spirit'. The last five also carry their works, the four gospels and Paul's epistles. Ezekiel is more usually represented by a wheel, perhaps here he is caught abandoning measurement of the temple and is about to receive his visitation.
Alan Maycock © 2008
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