Southwell Minster 'The Leaves of Southwell' voted number one cathedral treasure

The Leaves of Southwell at Southwell Minster have beaten off tough competition to be voted number one in the Association of English Cathedrals prestigious #CathedralTreasures competition.
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The fluid carvings of plants, animals and green men found within the Chapter House, known collectively as The Leaves of Southwell, are described as being 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 said to be truly something to behold and there are all manner of creatures, both real and mythical to be found hidden among the leaves.

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The competition was based on Deans’ Choice: Cathedral Treasures of England and Wales, the latest book by author and lecturer Janet Gough, an advisor on historic churches and cathedrals.

Southwell MinsterSouthwell Minster
Southwell Minster

It 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.

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The AEC shared these 50 remarkable treasures across their social media platforms over 50 days and 10 treasures made it to the final, determined by the number of likes, shares, and engagements throughout the campaign.

Almost 4,500 people voted on their favourite cathedral treasure from the top 10.

The Leaves of SouthwellThe Leaves of Southwell
The Leaves of Southwell
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The Very Reverend 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.”

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