The results are in and it’s official: The Leaves of Southwell at Southwell Minster have been voted #1 in the Association of English Cathedrals (AEC) prestigious #CathedralTreasures competition.
The fluid carvings of plants, animals and green men found within the Chapter House – known collectively as ‘The Leaves of Southwell’ – are of quite exceptional quality. Regarded as the best example of 13th century naturalistic carving in the United Kingdom, they are globally important. The craftsmanship is truly something to behold and there are all manner of creatures, both real and mythical to be found hidden among the leaves.
The campaign was based on the latest volume by Janet Gough, OBE, author, lecturer and advisor on historic churches and cathedrals, called Deans’ Choice: Cathedral Treasures of England and Wales.
The volume tells the story of 50 treasures from 44 Church of England cathedrals and six cathedrals from the Church in Wales – each one was chosen by the Dean or senior clergy of the cathedral featured.
The AEC shared these 50 remarkable treasures across their social media platforms over 50 days and ten treasures made it to the final – determined by the number of likes, shares, and engagements throughout the campaign. Almost 4,500 people then voted on their favourite cathedral treasure from the top ten.
The Very Revd Nicola Sullivan, Dean of Southwell, said: “Southwell is bursting with pride to hear that the exquisite ‘Leaves’ have won amidst the fierce competition from all of England and Wales beautiful cathedral treasures. These extraordinary carvings have given glory to God’s beautiful and abundant creation for over seven centuries and still thrill us today. Thank you to everyone who supported us.”
If you’ve never been to visit ‘The Leaves’, what are you waiting for? There’s never been a better time! Recent conservation works, as part of a Heritage Fund UK project, have been completed to help preserve these incredible treasures of our past, and a new cantilever lift has been installed to make them fully accessible to all. Thanks again to all who voted.
For more information on the Leaves of Southwell, please visit https://www.southwellminster.org/leaves-of-southwell/