Reprinted from Newsletter 122, dated 2007 May

Hugs are possible again in Market Place (the Betrothal Couple carving)

A stone carving set into a pillar. It depicts two figures, a woman and a man, holding hands.

Both the beloveds in the 500-year-old stone corbel in the Market Place again have both arms.

The “Betrothal Couple” carving has had to have yet another repair. The man’s left arm was broken off on Carnival night last November — John Brunsdon had arranged for an inspection that night. Through hasty overnight clearing-up, the arm was never recovered, despite appeals in the press.

Ben Sabran, a local sculptor, carved a replacement arm and fitted it using a stainless-steel pin. Lawrence Kelland, a conservator, did the final modelling and repairs in lime mortar to match the stone and applied a coloured lime “sheltercoat” to protect it from the weather.

This lovely little corbel, along with its neighbour, has enriched Glastonbury Market Place for 500 years. It was cleaned and conserved in 2004, and the woman was given a new right arm — it had been missing for many years.