St Mary's Church, Beverley

making disciples

Developing the designs for the Narnia carvings

Kibby Schaefer’s designs for our new label stops and carvings were developed from initial sketches into clay models, from which plaster casts were made – with approval along the way from, among others, The CS Lewis Company Ltd, The Chancellor of the Diocese of York and Historic England. Carvers are now working the stones (Magnesian Limestone from the quarry in Tadcaster) at their home workshops across Yorkshire using the plaster maquettes as a guide.

We greatly look forward to unveiling the stone carvings and installing them on the north nave clerestory later in the year. At the foot of this page is a plan of that elevation of the church showing where each of the label stops and carvings will be positioned.

But first we are delighted to share Kibby’s designs along with a description in her own words of each character.

Reepicheep

Reepicheep the mouse (from Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Last Battle) is a brave warrior who stands about 3 feet tall on his hind legs. Reepicheep values his honour and is deeply loyal to Aslan. He is shown in a Knight’s pose. One ear is turned to Aslan, listening.

Mr Tumnus

Mr Tumnus the fawn (from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Horse and His Boy and The Last Battle) is represented with his characteristic umbrella and parcel, a scarf around his neck as he gazes in pain at the White Witch as she turns him into stone. His left shoulder and forearm will be carved to suggest the raw material itself.

Aslan

The carving of Aslan the lion (from The Chronicles of Narnia (all books)) will represent him as a majestic creature, completely still with the stone table on which he was later killed (but from which he rises) resting within his paws.

The White Witch

The White Witch (or Jadis) (from The Magician’s Nephew and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) wears a dress of icicles, a headdress and holds her staff in the direction of Mr Tumnus – she looks over to him.

Glenstorm

Glenstorm the centaur (from Prince Caspian) is shown with hoofs raised whilst looking at the stars – representing his wisdom and foresight.

Farsight

Farsight the eagle (from The Last Battle) is delivering the news (to Tirian – not shown) which asks him to remember that “…all worlds come to an end”. The words are represented as a scroll held in his beak.

Trufflehunter

Trufflehunter the badger (from Prince Caspian) is holding a book – the figures of Aslan and Lucy (next to the lamp post) are shown. In Prince Caspian, Glenstorm says to Trufflehunter: “I watch the skies, Badger, for it is mine to watch as it is yours to remember”. In this context, we decided to show Trufflehunter in his role as historian – he knows the stories of the past and is thus unwavering in his loyalty to Aslan.

Ginger

Ginger the cat (from The Last Battle) is represented the moment he sees Tash in the stable, dishevelled and terrified.

Glimfeather

Glimfeather the owl (from The Silver Chair and The Last Battle) is perched on a rock, at night, in front of the tower where the parliament of owls meet.

Fledge

Fledge the winged horse (from The Magician’s Nephew and The Last Battle) is shown with wings raised, flying, with the apple tree behind him.

Maugrim

Maugrim the wolf, Captain of the White Witch’s Secret Police (from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) is represented howling in the direction of the White Witch. Snow flakes and ice crystals will be carved both on the White Witch and the wolf to reinforce this connection.

Shift

Shift the ape (from The Last Battle) is represented holding a pair of scissors (used in tailoring the lion skin to fit Puzzle) and wearing a paper hat.

Jewel

Jewel the unicorn (from The Last Battle) is represented charging forward and rearing his head to one side (which allows him to have a longer horn), as if in battle. As with the mouse, one of his ears is turned to Aslan.

Slinkey

Slinkey the fox (from The Last Battle) fights against Narnia – battle scenes emerging from flames of the bonfire will be represented behind him.

Where the carvings will be positioned

The fourteen new carvings will be fixed to the external wall of the north nave clerestory, some 15 metres up from ground level. Here is a plan of that elevation showing where the carvings will be located.

People of the town have already come to love the beaver carving we installed on this elevation in 2018 in honour of the Beverley town mascot (the name ‘Beverley’ probably originated as ‘Beverlac’ or ‘place of the beavers’). That carving was also made by Matthias Garn Master Mason & Partner.

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