Nestled in a sleepy corner of a 12th Century church in Iffley, is this delightfully modern sculpture.
A large knot carved out of stone and placed upon a plinth. Look carefully and at the top of the base you'll see a series of strange runes hewn into the rock.
It was a soggy day - as they all are in Oxford - when we discovered it, so we didn't hang around too long to see if there was any information nearby. Nevertheless, I felt sure that these carvings held a meaning. Well, time for a little analysis!
First step was to make the characters a little clearer:
Zoom! Enhance! Isolate!
While these aren't the Runic alphabet, they do have similarities. A quick scan shows a number of very similar symbols. It might be possible to do a frequency analysis, but there aren't many letters to go on. Some of the letters are clumped - which could indicate common pairs, or they could be single letters.
If you'd like a go at cracking the code, stop reading now!