The ultimate indignity...!
This is one of 13 stone heads which surround the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford. This poor chap looks rather fed up with his fate!
When Christopher Wren built the Sheldonian Theatre, he commissioned a set of 14 stone heads from stonemason William Byrd. Made of good quality Headington freestone, they were completed in 1669. Each depicted the head-and-shoulders sculpture of a male with a different beard. Seemingly no one knows for certain who the heads were meant to represent but one theory is that they represent a history of beards! They have been variously called the Apostles or the Philosophers, but most commonly they are called the Emperors.
Apart from one which was removed to make way for a further building, the original heads lasted 200 years until they were replaced in 1868. Unfortunately, the replacements were made of poor quality stone and gradually eroded until they were called ‘the faceless Caesars’ and were taken down in 1970. The third and current set of heads, sculpted by Oxford sculptor Michael Black and erected in 1972, is made of durable Clipsham stone; each head weighs one ton.
I was lucky to capture this shot when the bird landed on it for a moment; unfortunately I didn't have time to set my camera properly so there's a trace of camera-shake but I thought it would make a fun blip nevertheless..