11 March 2012

Owls, ornamental

Owls - what is it with Leeds and owls? On my short walk from the train station to the university, I came across these as part of the railings around the public library -
and a few minutes later, more owls - larger and gleaming golden - atop and beside the civic hall (note also the huge clocks) -
The Victorians who put all that grand architecture into a prospering textile town were not to know that in the 21st century there would be a Leeds Owl Trail ("get to know the city") - an international tourist attraction.

The owls come from the city's coat of arms (registered in 1921), and originally from the coat of arms of the Savile family, who were given vast tracts of land by William the Conquerer. The family lived in Howley Hall, built in 1590 and later blown up -
Five lots of owls, of various sizes, have been lost, over the years. News of their whereabouts are hoped for by the owl trail team.

1 comment:

sandra wyman said...

Sorry to have missed you - yet again!

The motto (if that's what it is) on the Leeds coat of arms is "pro rege et lege" - hence in our household the owls were of course known as Reggie and Ledgie, and I still think of them as such! My husband's fault!