The Quadrangle

Bosses

In architecture, bosses are ornaments carved in stone on horizontal and curved string courses and on vaulted ceilings. Most bosses on the Quadrangle are on horizontal string courses. Many of the Quadrangle's bosses use heraldry symbols.


Photos are courtesy of the University Secretariat unless otherwise indicated. Click on images for enlargement.


BOSSES ON HORIZONTAL STRING COURSES


A horizontal string course is a continuous band of stone that extends across the facade of a building and forms a part of the design.

Bosses on a horizontal string course on the cloister

Plants

The University 

Individuals

Plants are extremely common
in heraldry.

A number of bosses depict study
disciplines and University life

Many recognise individuals,
e.g. by faces and by initials.

A floral motif
Football, photo copyright, David White.
Gavin Brown & Leonie Kramer boss by stonecarver Kris Krawczyk (2001

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Royal emblems 

Crosses 

Birds

Royal emblems occur repeatedly
on the early buildings.

The cross is often used in heraldry.

The female pelican symbolises
self-sacrifice & parental love.

The initials "VC" stand for Victoria Regina

A cross

A pelican

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Animals

Lions

Grotesques 

The dog represents courage,
vigilance and loyalty

Most lions in the Quadrangle
have a sinister expression.

These include animals with sinister
expressions & chimeras -
imaginative creatures made up
of various parts of other creatures.

A dog's face

A lion's face

A grotesque boss

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BOSSES ON TWO ARCHES IN THE CLOISTER


Two of the arches in the cloister are decorated with bosses depicting monsters and mythical figures.

One of the arches in the cloister with bosses


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BOSSES ON THE NICHOLSON GATEWAY ARCH


The bosses around the Nicholson Gateway arch combine monsters and mythical figures with symbols representing a number of different fields of university study.

The Nicholson Gateway arch


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BOSSES ON THE NICHOLSON VESTIBULE VAULTED CEILINGS


The vaulted ceilings of the Nicholson Vestibule, the stone staircase and the passageway between the Professorial Board Room and MacLaurin Hall are elaborately carved. Carvings include mythical creatures, floral motifs and symbols representing various fields of University study.

Bosses on the vaulted ceiling


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LB