Tuesday 3 June 2014

Broadgate Circle EC2

Some time in the 1970s, the sculptor Barry Flanagan was inspired by the 'magical' sight of a hare sprinting across the South Downs. Through the rest of his career he turned again and again to this graceful, lithe but strong and resilient creature.
Hares were sacred to the Ancient Britons - the Earth Mother Eostre changed into a white hare at the full moon, a belief that has decayed sadly into the Easter Bunny of today.
Flanagan's piece for Broadgate Circle is called Leaping Hare on Crescent and Bell and was placed here in 1988.

1 comment:

Stephen Barker said...

At Hallaton in Leicestershire on Easter Monday they have an ancient tradition called Bottle Kicking which is a battle between Hallaton and neighbouring Medbourne for three bottles (the bottles are small barrels which in the past agricultural workers would have used to take refreshment into the fields) Before The battle commences there is a procession through Hallaton lead by a bearer carrying a bronze leaping hare on a pole. This is in memory of two ladies who in the middle ages were saved from a charging bull by a hare running across its path and distracting it. The procession through the village ends at the parish church where a pie is blessed and cut up by the rector for distribution to the crowd. Traditionally the filling of the pie was hare but not any more.

The site of where the Bottle kicking takes place is called Hare Pie Bank, it is supposed to be the site where the hare saved the two ladies. The bottle kicking has few rules as such and resembles a disorganised rugby scrum, each year there are usually a few casualties requiring medical treatment including broken bones. A good time is had by all!