Skip navigation
Mosaics and mosaic making information from The joy of shards Mosaics Resource

Tile maze in Bourn Church, Cambridgeshire

The tile maze in the church of St Helena and St Mary dates from the 1870s, and was possibly inspired by the recent installation of the maze beneath the west tower of Ely Cathedral. Unlike that maze it does not simply have one path ("unicursal"), but has branches, loops and dead ends. The design is not original, but was adapted from the layout of the hedge maze at Hampton Court. It is less complex than Hampton Court's in that some of the paths have been left out, and the maze has been made to fit a rectangular space.It does demonstrate the possiblities of building a maze from a two-colour scheme measuring 34 x 47 tiles.

Font and tile maze in Bourn Church

The font is placed at the goal of the maze, which is slightly off-centre. The base of the font obscures one of the pathways, and any special design that might have been at the goal.

Added to this, one of the main features of a hedge maze - the fact that you can't look around to see where the other paths lead - has been lost completely. Maybe this is not so important. The maze is possibly more symbolic of the challenges of a spiritual journey than an actual puzzle.

Plan of tile maze in Bourn Church

detail of tile maze in Bourn Church

detail of tile maze in Bourn Church

detail of tile maze in Bourn Church

2001-8 All pictures and text are copyright
the joy of shards Mosaics Resource