Restored statue of St Peter installed at York Minster

Restored statue of St Peter installed at York Minster

The newly installed statue of St Peter high up on the East End of York Minster. Pictured with the statue is Canon Peter Moger, Precentor of York Minster.

The newly installed statue of St Peter high up on the East End of York Minster. Pictured with the statue is Dave Willett one of the three sculpters who worked on the statue.

The newly installed statue of St Peter high up on the East End of York Minster. Pictured with the statue is Dave Willett one of the three sculpters who worked on the statue.

First published in News
Last updated

THE wraps came off one of York Minster's most important statues - which has been restored to glory after experts figured out what it looked like before centuries of wind and rain destroyed many of the original features.

The intricate carving of St Peter is one of the biggest on the outside of the historic cathedral. But the Yorkshire weather had taken its toll and some of the details of the stonework were lost in time.

The seated figure was removed earlier this year as part of a programme to conserve or replace all the masonry around what is the largest expanse of medieval stained glass in Europe.

The statue was so badly eroded that stone carvers, academics and historians spent months not only researching who or what the figure would have been, but also how it may have looked.

The Minster's Superintendent of Works Rebecca Thompson said: "This is an iconic figure that sat in pride of place above an iconic window, so its importance as part of York’s history and York Minster’s appearance cannot be underestimated."

There were no detailed drawings of the original figure. So leading historians, archaeologists, theologians and academics used sketches and drawings to create a clay model before the carvers started work.

The figure was made at the Minster’s Stoneyard in Deangate, and designed by the Assistant to the Master Mason, Martin Coward using three blocks of stone imported from a French quarry.

It took nearly four months to complete. Each section was lifted from the work bench, transported across to York Minster, and hoisted on the exterior of the scaffolding.

It took a painstaking ten days for the craftsmen to make sure it was in the right place for the unveiling.

It marks the end of a crucial phase of the conservation work but residents will have to until 2016 - when the scaffolding comes down - to see the results.

The Very Reverend Vivienne Faull, Dean of York, said: “It is wonderful to have this figure reinstated to the cathedral named in his honour.

"Although most people know the building as York Minster, its full name is the Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of St Peter in York.”

Comments (6)

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12:09pm Thu 26 Jun 14

bloodaxe says...

Brilliant ! York is so fortunate to have this astonishing collection of art and talent. Also well done for using the word "iconic" in something like its correct meaning.i.e. relating to the nature of an image.
Brilliant ! York is so fortunate to have this astonishing collection of art and talent. Also well done for using the word "iconic" in something like its correct meaning.i.e. relating to the nature of an image. bloodaxe
  • Score: 13

3:08pm Thu 26 Jun 14

pedalling paul says...

Is he blessing all the cyclists who pass along Deangate?
Is he blessing all the cyclists who pass along Deangate? pedalling paul
  • Score: -7

3:16pm Thu 26 Jun 14

SR0843 says...

This figure is iconic, it is stunning...but the one in place now is a replacement, not a restoration; so a statue has been restored to the East Front but it is a new statue.
Meanwhile the original, badly weathered one can be seen in the gardens of De Grey Court if one walks along the cobbled road towards Minster Court and looks through the railings on the right, just beyond Treasurer's House; it's still under wraps at the moment but is going to be allowed to crumble away gracefully at ground level where it cannot cause injury or worse.
This figure is iconic, it is stunning...but the one in place now is a replacement, not a restoration; so a statue has been restored to the East Front but it is a new statue. Meanwhile the original, badly weathered one can be seen in the gardens of De Grey Court if one walks along the cobbled road towards Minster Court and looks through the railings on the right, just beyond Treasurer's House; it's still under wraps at the moment but is going to be allowed to crumble away gracefully at ground level where it cannot cause injury or worse. SR0843
  • Score: 4

4:15pm Thu 26 Jun 14

bloodaxe says...

SR0843 wrote:
This figure is iconic, it is stunning...but the one in place now is a replacement, not a restoration; so a statue has been restored to the East Front but it is a new statue.
Meanwhile the original, badly weathered one can be seen in the gardens of De Grey Court if one walks along the cobbled road towards Minster Court and looks through the railings on the right, just beyond Treasurer's House; it's still under wraps at the moment but is going to be allowed to crumble away gracefully at ground level where it cannot cause injury or worse.
Welcome to the Pedants' Club. I fear that you won't prosper on this site however.
[quote][p][bold]SR0843[/bold] wrote: This figure is iconic, it is stunning...but the one in place now is a replacement, not a restoration; so a statue has been restored to the East Front but it is a new statue. Meanwhile the original, badly weathered one can be seen in the gardens of De Grey Court if one walks along the cobbled road towards Minster Court and looks through the railings on the right, just beyond Treasurer's House; it's still under wraps at the moment but is going to be allowed to crumble away gracefully at ground level where it cannot cause injury or worse.[/p][/quote]Welcome to the Pedants' Club. I fear that you won't prosper on this site however. bloodaxe
  • Score: -5

5:24pm Thu 26 Jun 14

SR0843 says...

Of course I mean Gray's Court, not De Grey Court; now I'm being pedantic with myself!
Of course I mean Gray's Court, not De Grey Court; now I'm being pedantic with myself! SR0843
  • Score: 6

7:29pm Thu 10 Jul 14

Dave Ruddock says...

check out the west external face central and above the large widow
check out the west external face central and above the large widow Dave Ruddock
  • Score: 0

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