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Beaver with bagpipes

Beverley Minster's Heritage Open Day and a beaver playing bagpipes

Extensive restoration work to the stone and stained glass windows at Beverley Minster, can be seen as master craftsmen will display their talents as part of both Hull and Beverley Civic Society’s Heritage Open Days, on 8 September from 10:30-16:00.

Over the last 900 years, many people have visited the iconic Beverley Minster to follow in the medieval pilgrims’ footsteps who came to St John of Beverley’s grave seeking peace, health and comfort and the sanctuary chair, seeking asylum from harsh laws.

Today however, many people visit the Minster, overwhelmed by the vast architecture and intricate carvings in stone, wood and the beautiful stained glass windows.

Behind the scenes, a maintenance team is beavering away, maintaining the fabric of the building which dates back over 900 years. Lead repairs to the roof and gutters as well as restoration of the stone work is an ongoing process, whilst the pinnacles have become weather-worn and in places unstable. These medieval artefacts are being replaced using the same skill and precision of the original 13th Century workforce.

On the 8 September, visitors are invited for talks and tours of the lower levels of The Minster, by the experienced and knowledgeable visitor team, and to meet the maintenance team who look after the fabric of the Minster. They will also introduce the stone masons as they carve into the limestone and the glaziers as they prepare new pieces of the stained glass windows.

Simon Delaney, building surveyor to the Beverley Minster Old Fund says:

“A building this age and size requires a lot of looking after. The maintenance team have been busy repairing the roof and stonework.  Since I started the role here in January, a specialist team have been working on the stone spending in total over 40 weeks of carving for just two of the pinnacles, which then take about ten days to install. The detail on the stone is stunning, I was recently shown the beaver playing his bagpipes who can be seen on the Tympanum roof that was completed in 2014, which is a good example of this.”

“Heritage Open Day visitors can take a tour of the Minster getting a great insight into the history, as well as a feel for what it takes to keep Beverley Minster in the best possible condition.”

“Even though we use some modern methods to help produce the carvings, we still have to use the same procedure to get the pinnacles to and from the roof. The giant human wheel is operated manually, lowering and raising the weighty pieces through a hole in the roof space which are then wheeled out to be positioned.”

The details of the tours on 8 September, by the Minster Welcome Team:
10.30-11.30 Masons marks - John Phillips
11.45-12.30 Sanctuary - Martyn Kirby
1.15-2.00 Short Tour - Sue Robson
2.15-3.15 Green Men Minstrels Misericords and Monsters - Phil Deller
3.30-4.15 Short Tour - Susan Nicholson
 

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