Are they Doves, Peacocks or mythical birds?

Aldermaston Doves
Aldermaston Doves

The Project St Mary’s logo is made up of the pairs of birds seen on the columns either side of the main door.

Since deciding on using this as the logo for our project there seems to be some discussion as to whether they are doves, peacocks or mythical birds.

Some of the information that surrounds the birds:

  • Carved in the 12th Century
  • A pair of doves symbolises everlasting love and many other things  see Notes on Dove Symbolism
  • In Christianity the Peacock symbolism represents the “all-seeing” church, along with the holiness and sanctity associated with it. Additionally, the Peacock represents resurrection, renewal and immortality within the spiritual teachings of Christianity.
  • Bayeux Tapestry (1084) has 5 pairs of birds in similar stances (bodies facing but heads turned away). What does it mean?
    Bayeux1 Bayeux5 Bayeux4 Bayeux3 Bayeux2

How can we find out more about the symbolism and meaning of these carvings?