Discovery Day

Tuesday 13 September 2022
9.30am – 4pm

This event is fully booked.

Join staff and volunteers for this year’s annual discovery day. A chance to discover the hidden treasures of the Minster and celebrate the Leaves of Southwell with a wide variety of workshops, talks, tours and activities.

Choose 4 workshops from our list of sessions themed around the subjects of History, Art, Music and so much more!

£15 per person – advance booking please. Everyone welcome!

You will receive a link in the confirmation booking page and email which will allow you to choose your preferred workshops. Please choose up to 6. Workshops are allocated on a first come first serve basis – book early to avoid disappoint. If you have any problems with this, please email

You can also purchase a ticket in person from the Cathedral Shop. The Cathedral Shop is open Tuesday t0 Saturday: 10am – 4pm and Sunday: 11.30am – 3.30pm.


  1. Mediaeval Buildings and Myths: Join Buildings Archaeologist, Dr James Wright, as he gives us an introduction to some of the most common misconceptions surrounding mediaeval historic buildings.
  2. Tom Thomson – Canada’s Constable: Charlie Leggatt, the Minster’s former fundraiser, will speak on an artist often known as ‘Canada’s Constable.’ Tom Thomson (1877 – 1917) is widely considered Canada’s greatest artist but largely on account of his early (and mysterious) death, is not as well as should be the case.
  3. Handle Artefacts from Southwell’s Past: Led by volunteers from SCAG, this session will provide an opportunity to see and handle some of the artefacts that have emerged from archaeological work in and around Southwell. Participants will be able to have a close look at these artefacts as well as see some displays from the work of the Southwell Community Archaeology group.
  4. High and Lofty – Southwell Minster’s Music Department: A rare chance to see our historic organ loft. Includes a demonstration of the organs by members of our Music Department with some unusual sights from the top of the pulpitum and some architectural peculiarities. (Narrow flight of stone steps and numbers are limited).
  5. Historic Chapter Library: A chance to visit and view some of the Minster’s treasured books and documents accompanied by one of our librarians. (Includes steep steps up to the Library and numbers are limited).
  6. Flower arranging with Flower Guild: A talk, demonstration and ‘have a go’ sessions led by the Minster Flower Guild. Materials provided (bringing a pair of scissors/secateurs would be useful). A fun activity for all levels of experience. (No extra charge, but donations for the cost of flowers are invited).
  7. Minster Treasures: Guided by our team of Vergers, have a close look at our silverware and other special pieces not normally on public view. Learn about their history and use as well as the roles – past and present – of a verger. (Includes 4 steps to the Pilgrim’s Chapel)
  8. Exploration of the Palace Gardens: Join our Head Gardener, Claire Connely, as she takes you on a tour of the newly opened Palace Gardens. As you roam the grounds, Claire will tell you all about the history, design and planting of the Palace Gardens and how the Leaves of the Southwell have been incorporated within them.
  9. Wildlife in Wood – Canon Nigel Coates: The 19th-century oak choir stalls carved by C. H. Simpson are less celebrated than the 13th century stone foliage of the Chapter House but they too are of exceptional quality. This talk will explore why they can be thought of as a ‘benedicite’ in wood that can enhance both our delight in nature and our worship.
  10. Make your own Green Man: Local embroiderer and artist Emma Frith will introduce you to dry felting, and guide you through this project, inspired by the stone carvings in our Chapter House. You will cut shapes from wool felt and sculpt the face using nothing but wool fibres and a felting needle. Suitable for complete beginners, no experience necessary.
  11. Hidden Music of a Medieval Chapter House: Dr Henry Parkes researches the musical cultures of Western Christianity, with an emphasis on the central Middle Ages. In this workshop, he will introduce the forms of worship and music in medieval Southwell with a focus on the Chapter House.
  12. How to read the Minster: Over the recent centuries, we have lost and forgotten how to read the language, imagery and architecture of churches which were specifically designed for those who couldn’t read. Join two of our expert guides in a brand-new innovative tour as they reveal the lost language and symbolism of the Minster.

Tickets £15. Booking is essential,

Please contact Aoife Cleland at,, if you have any queries about the event.

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Event Details

  • Date:
  • Venue: Southwell Minster