“And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.”
If you are in England and you drive north on the M6 motorway, the last major town in England, before you reach the border with Scotland, is the cathedral city of Carlisle. This ancient church houses much of interest to the historian and the tourist alike. And one of the most notable and fascinating features of this ancient church is the tomb of Bishop Bell.
The cathedral was built originally as an Augustinian priory in 1122. Born in 1410, Richard Bell became the Bishop of Carlisle in 1478 and died in 1496. As an important diocesan bishop, Bell was buried in a tomb inside the cathedral, in the middle of the choir. Centuries of feet have created signs of wear on the brass fillet around the tomb, which is now protected under a carpet, and you usually have to ask one of the staff if you want to view the brass engravings. The fillet is engraved with lots of animals. They are ordinary looking creatures for the most part – a dog (with a collar), an eel and a pig, to name but three. However, two of the animals will surprise you. They look like dinosaurs.
Could this really be the case? There would have been two of each kind of dinosaur on the Ark, but apparently most, if not all, kinds died out later. It would seem that the two dinosaur kinds depicted on Bell’s tomb still lived in Northern England in the 15th Century.