This building is famous for its architecture, particularly the stunning fan vaulting of its Gothic ceiling. I began this blog with a picture from another corner of this room. You can see the grating in more detail if you follow this link.
This circle in the pavement is a mystery to me. It was at the top of the earthen mound that is the oldest part of Warwick Castle. The mound was built in 1068 "on the orders of William the Conqueror," according to a sign at the castle. The top of the mound was not large - maybe the size of a good-sized livingroom, but open to the air with low walls on most of the sides and no roof. It was like a garden terrace, and this construction was on the rain-drenched pathway between the entrance and one of the low walls. I'm trying to remember the size. I think it was a bit larger than a typical manhole cover. In fact, it may have been as much as two feet across.
Some of the things you find on the pavement are just unique. It was such a cool surprise when I looked down and saw tapir tracks in the pavement. Zoos are doing a lot more these days to enhance the educational and fun value of the grounds as well as creating interesting habitat for what's inside the enclosures.
Pictured above is a tapir's rear footprint. Since the zoo has Asian tapirs, I'm assuming they took a mold from their Asian tapirs to use when they poured the concrete - and anyway, the footprint of each species has its own conformation. An Asian tapir print might possibly be confused with a Baird's tapir, but probably not with the other two species. The hind foot of every tapir species has three toes, and each toe is encased in its own separate hoof. Interesting, yes? Tapirs have feet that are totally unique in the animal world.
Now it gets even more interesting. Here you see a hind foot (below) with the forefoot superimposed over it, obliterating part of the track. This is a typical footprint pattern of tapirs. Note that the front foot has the prints of four toes. All tapirs have four toes on each front foot, but sometimes the tracks imprint in such a way as to make it appear that there are five toes. The tapir is not the only animal that steps in its own tracks. Check out these prints of big cat footprints, too.
I seem to be having "Monreale Day" here in Tapirgal's blog world. Please visit two more blogs for more of marvelous Monreale. You can also follow this link to see other posts about Monreale on Animal Art Along the Way.