A Puzzle at Rowlestone St Peter

Our anniversary church crawl ended at Rowlestone, with its fine tympanum and intriguing chancel arch capitals in the Herefordshire School early Norman style. The Christ in Majesty on the tympanum is beautifully preserved and easy to “read”, but how the carver loved his pigeons (or are they cockerels for St Peter?) – and what on earth is going on on those capitals? The assumption must be that they show Peter, the Patron Saint of the church, and an angel, but whay are the right-hand figures inverted? It’s not just a misplaced stone because the figures and the bird comprise a single stone. One theory is that is was just a mistake: perhaps the carver did the left-hand stone first and then started on the right-hand one, beginning with the saint and angel but inadvertently repeating the orientation of the first stone, and was then reluctant to waste his work. Or perhaps, according to another theory, it deliberately echoes Peter’s upside-down crucifixion (and beyond that his denial as well as his faith). I would feel more comfortable with the second theory if an analogue could be offered though. Either way, they are strongly and impressively carved, and they made a fine end to ur tour, as did a posh picnic on a bench in the sun in the churchyard before we returned home.