Columns in the Court

I have chosen the columns around the Great Court for three reasons. First, they appeal to me as a writer because the decorative rocks from which they are made have such evocative names, carved on their stone plinths in bold capitals. ‘Quartziferous porphyry’ is pure poetry, but ‘serpentine’, ‘Triassic calcareous breccia’, and ‘schorlaceous’ are all welcome additions to my vocabulary. Secondly, they appeal to my visual sense because the rocks themselves are beautiful, with their polished sheen and subtle range of colour and pattern. And thirdly, it pleases me enormously that there should be such variety in Shakespeare’s ‘little world, this precious stone, set in a silver sea’ : a tour of the cloister becomes a tour of the British Isles as you pass columns that hail from Cork to Cornwall, from Arran to Anglesey.

Georgina Ferry, Writer in Residence