York & North Yorkshire

Collection of new grotesques installed at York Minster

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe carvings replace weathered ones dating back to the 1700s

A collection of new grotesques carved as part of a major restoration of York Minster are being lifted into place.

The four carvings, based on the Judgement of Solomon, replace weathered ones dating back to the 1700s.

A 10-year project to repair and conserve the South Quire Aisle area of the cathedral is underway.

Grotesques are carvings, usually of demons, dragons or other mythical creatures, that were often used to decorate cathedrals and churches.

Image copyright Dean & Chapter York Minster
Image caption The grotesques have been completed by stonemasons Richard Bossons, Dave Willett and Victoria Darley

The carvings were intended to protect buildings from evil spirits.

Grotesques are sometimes confused with gargoyles, which look similar but contain a water spout through the mouth.

Image copyright Dean & Chapter York Minster
Image caption The carvings are being placed in the South Quire Aisle, an area of the cathedral which dates back to 1361

The carvings are based on the design of the originals and include King Solomon, two women - one carrying a baby - and a dragon holding a goose in its teeth.

Each one has taken three stonemasons between 180 and 200 hours to complete.

As well as replacing the grotesques, work will take place to repair and replace stone and glass in 15 window bays.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites