Thanks to a Heritage Lottery Grant a dangerous high-level pinnacle on the northwest side of church was made safe. The grant of £82,100 also allowed us the chance to learn more about stonemasonry and enabled us to welcome a wonderful new stone creature to our collection.
Repairing the Pinnacle
Wednesday 19th July 2017 the pinnacle was brought down and the process of studying the original pinnacle, modelling the new (based on the old) and carving took place
In order to keep the pinnacle secure, a new grotesque / gargoyle was needed to replace the one which had eroded. The stonemason designed a wonderful beaver, reflecting Beverley’s logo and symbolizing the beginning of new works. He is playing a harp in line with the tradition of musical carvings in the building and echoing the sound of running water (Beverley beck)
The pinnacle and the beaver were fixed to church in October 2017 and now the beaver looks proudly down over passers by.
Learning about St Mary’s Church
During October 2017 Matthias (the lovely stonemason) and his team agreed to come into church to run 4 sessions introducing the children to the profession of stonemasonry. We welcomed 120 children from the local primary school who learned a little more about this extraordinary work including:
• Exploring the church and trying to understand the themes and designs in the building
• Sketching a design for their own gargoyles / grotesques
• Moulding the design in self-drying clay
• Having an opportunity to use the stonemason’s tools
If you want to find out more about how St Mary’s was built there is a permanent display of interactive resources…. come and see for yourself