Fantastic beasts and where to find themNovember 19 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌧 8 °C
The idea for this post came from Atlas Obscura (thanks Ant) - an online catalogue of unusual / obscure travel destinations - and its entries for Cambridge.
Perusing this, I saw the entry for "Reality Checkpoint"; this is a large cast-iron lamppost with intertwined, wide-eyed dolphins on its base, and is situated in the middle of Parker's Piece at the intersection of the park's diagonal paths. I have walked past this many, many times and never really clocked it! I had to go and see it - check the Atlas Obscura entry on-line or Wikipedia for the theories regarding its curious name....
I also saw in Atlas Obscura the entry for the Corpus Clock and Chronophage ("time eater") which overlooks King's Parade at the junction with Bene't Street. It features a large, toothed grasshopper devouring time and is particularly interesting on the hour and at night; I have seen and photographed this before.
So, what other beasts are on display in Cambridge?
From the University's perspective, the Great Gate of St John's College features mythical beasts called yales - these have elephants' tails, antelopes' bodies and goats' heads, with horns which can, supposedly, swivel from back to front. Heading from here to Downing Street, we reach the University Museum of Zoology and see an excellent display showing the diversity of animal life.
Shopping at Scotsdales Garden Centre along Cambridge Road is also interesting; you never know what you might see lurking in the undergrowth surrounding the displays.....