The Chapter House – Southwell Minster

Southwell in Nottinghamshire houses one of the finest UK cathedrals – undoubtedly a hidden gem. The stone-carving in the minster generally is of a very high standard, but that contained in the 14th century chapter house is most certainly accurately described as hidden, as much is designed to be seen only by those sitting around the edge, in places historically reserved for Notts clergy.

As you sit and peer upwards into the foliate stonework, beasts both benign and savage reveal themselves, some easily named others mythical.

Mythical? I wouldn't want to meet it.

(Damaged) foliate head - green man

A beautiful symmetry - ceiling

And then the secret beasts –


Bird devouring grapes

some poor devil being savaged

A bit hidden away, off the beaten track, don’t overlook Southwell Minster – the guides are charming, knowledgeable and most helpful, and don’t overlook the town – it’s well worth an afternoon spent experiencing a spot of peace and quiet.

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