In a shady spot in Kent, ancient sea creatures lurk

In the village of Staplehurst close to Maidstone on the Medway, and only 13.5 miles from the old and long silted-up South Coast port of Smallhythe, you can find these 12th century wrought iron representations of sea creatures on the village church’s south door – some a bit more fantastical than others.

I think I can see octopuses or squid, snakes, conger, a sea bird, a ray, a lobster and a flying fish. So the inhabitants of a remote village in Kent nearly a thousand years ago had heard stories of flying fish… Can anyone add creatures I haven’t noticed?

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