Discovery Day 2023


Tuesday 5th September 2023
9.30pm – 4pm
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.

Out of stock



Discovery Day

Tuesday 5 September 2023
9.30am – 4pm

Online ticket sales are now closed. You are welcome to attend and pay on the day, however workshop options may be limited.

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.

£20 per person – pre-booking is essential, if you feel you will struggle to pay this amount please do get in touch and we will see what we can do to help. 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 5 workshops which you would like to do on the day – 3 workshops and 2 reserve choices. 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.

Our opening talk will be ‘Introduction to Buildings Archaeology’ from Dr James Wright.

Throughout the day discover a variety of minster treasures and hidden gems, the towers, historic library, beautiful gardens, singing, embroidery, minster flowers and more!

Workshops, Tours and Talks

  1. Buildings Archaeology Workshop
    Under the expert guiding hand of our main speaker Dr James Wright, and building on his talk, take a closer look at our historic buildings, share your observations and develop your knowledge and confidence. This is a fun way to start critically evaluating buildings. (session 1 only)
  2. How to ‘Read’ the Minster
    Two of our Minster Guides take you on a journey of discovery, explaining the significance of church layout, construction, symbolism and messages within our beautiful building and its treasures. (Maximum 15 per session)
  3. Meet the Embroidery Guild
    Our needlework tutor, Emma Frith, and members of the Minster Needlework Guild look  forward to welcoming you to their brand-new needlework studio in Trebeck Hall – the first time it has been open to the public. They will guide you through making these bold and bright lavender sachets with felt appliqué and simple embroidery stitches. All fabrics and tools are provided. All levels of experience, beginners welcome. (Maximum 8 per session)
  4. Music / singing
    Guy Turner has been a Minster Lay Clerk (singer) for fifteen years and, in the song school, used daily by the choristers but not open to the public, he gives an insight into being part of a Cathedral Choir. Expect archaic terminology, amusing anecdotes and recordings of the choir in action.
  5. High and Lofty
    Southwell Minster’s music department offer a rare chance to see our historic quire 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. (Group numbers limited. NB: Narrow flight of stone steps)
  6. Tower Tours
    Get some spectacular views from clerestory level inside as well as from the top of the Minster (weather permitting) as you join our experienced guides for a climb up the central tower, visiting the ringing room and bell chamber on the way. (Maximum 15 per session. NB: approximately 200 spiral steps; dark narrow spaces; sensible shoes and head for heights needed)
  7. Minster Treasures with the Vergers
    Guided by our team of Vergers, in the clergy vestry, not generally open to the public, have a close look at our silverware, precious textiles, valuable paintings 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. (4 steps to the Clergy Vestry)
  8. Exploration of the Palace Gardens – Claire Connely, Head Gardener
    Join Head Gardener, Claire Connely, as she takes you on a tour of the Palace Gardens including the recently developed Paddock. 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. (Sessions 1 and 2 only. NB: Uneven ground, possibly wet depending on weather)
  9. Historic Library – Honorary Librarians
    A chance to visit and view some of the Minster’s treasured books and documents accompanied by one of our librarians. (Group numbers limited. NB: Includes Steep steps up to the Library)
  10. Flower arranging with Flower Guild
    A talk, demonstration and ‘have a go’ session led by the Minster Flower Guild, whose spectacular creations adorn the Minster throughout the year. Materials provided (scissors / secateurs may be useful to bring). A fun activity for all levels of experience. (No extra charge, but a suggested of £5 donation towards the cost of flowers is invited)
  11. Prebends, Property and Potwell Dyke
    In the company of the Minster’s Chief Officer Nigel Spraggins or Fund Raiser Ruth Massey, find out about the privileges and opportunities of being the custodian of beautiful landscapes and precious historic buildings. This gentle stroll takes in the Minster’s land and property including a Site of Importance to Nature Conservation (SINC), a scheduled monument where once stood a Roman Villa and Anglo Saxon burial ground, Bishop’s Manor, Sacrista Prebend and the houses of Vicar’s Court. (NB: 1.5km route with uneven ground, steps, paths)
  12. Bible in 25 Minutes
    We often know the individual stories but how do they fit into the BIG picture? Canon Missioner, Paul Rattigan, takes you on a romp through the story of God’s people from beginning to end. Bring any awkward questions that you have about the Bible and talk to him about his role at the Cathedral. (session 1 only)

Tickets £20. Pre-booking is essential,

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