Visit to Canterbury Cathedral

13 May, 2018 – 7:10 pm

I was very pleased to be invited to Canterbury Cathedral last month. I was one of 12 from the Worshipful Company of Masons as a thank you to the company for sponsoring a series of educational displays which will tour the local schools and help raise awareness and interest in this historic craft.  

We were escorted by Tony Long, head mason and Sam Royal, the Trust and Research manager. Once we were given the safety advice, out hi vis jacket and hard hat we were taken up to the top of the scaffolding via a lift, this was an exciting ride as a stonemason normally it’s ladders to the top.

The weather was extremely kind for our visit and the Sun was shining, the view from up here was breathtaking. I grew up not far from Canterbury and studied at Christ Church College-now part of the University, my student digs were visible from the top.

We were given a tour over the scaffolding and got to see the conservation work being undertaken by the current masons. I did plenty of sketching as I could get up close to the grotesques on the pinnacles. We had a trip inside and got up close to the vaulting in the nave thanks to a suspended floor. The Cathedral are currently cleaning the stonework up here thanks to some lottery funding but as a stonemason I see the structural work that needs to be done.

After some lunch we were given a tour around the ground floor of the Cathedral, through the cloisters, down into the crypt and all the way around, the Black Prince’s tomb has always been a firm favourite ever since the trips with my local Primary School many years ago. I used to spend many hours drawing in this magnificent building when I was studying at Christ Church College.

As I was spending time with my family I didn’t stay for evensong but I’m sure it was magical.

I carried out a 4 wk work experience placement with the Cantebury Cathedral masons after my degree so it was lovely to be back.

I thoroughly enjoyed my busman’s holiday and look forward to returning to Canterbury soon.


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