The Woman over the Window

caryatidThere are carved heads on keystones above the entrance and the windows of this Venetian palace style branch of the Wakefield and Barnsley Union Bank (now occupied by Barclays) built in Ossett in 1870. The Santa Claus lookalike above the door seems to be a portrait, perhaps of the first manager, but this woman over the window has classical proportions and probably represents a mythological figure.

The man in a winged helmet over another window is probably Mercury but it would be nice to think that he was Osla the Viking, who, according to one interpretation of the town’s name, settled at ‘Osla’s seat’ or ‘Osla’s ridge camp’ a century and a half before the Battle of Hastings.

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