Gargoyle design turned to stone

The first of competition winning gargoyle designs for Ripon Cathedral has been completed by York based stone carver, Martin Coward.

Martin has taken just six weeks to turn the design, by ten year old joint competition winner, Hayden Horsfall from Pickering Community Junior School, into the stone sculpture. He said it was a joy to create it.  

The creature is described by those who have seen the completed gargoyle on social media as ‘cute’, ‘true to the original design’ and ‘not as fierce as he looks’.

More than a thousand schoolchildren from across North Yorkshire submitted entries for the competition, which is being run as part of a project of repairs currently being undertaken in the north east corner of the cathedral - where worn out stonework and crumbling gargoyles are being replaced.

The two competitoon winners were Hayden and Rachael Ogier, also aged 10, from Moorside Junior School in Ripon . Once both designs are completed they will take their place on the cathedral for centuries to come.

Cathedral Architect Oliver Caroe and two expert stone carvers were amongst the judges who selected ten finalists. The designs were then put on display in the cathedral and members of the public invited to cast their votes.

Ripon Cathedral’s Director of Operations Julia Barker said: “We had such a fantastic response and we are pleased to be working with two schools in the production of these gargoyles which will be here for many generations to come. It’s something not just for them but hopefully for their children and grandchildren.”

Gargoyles were traditionally used to help ward off evil spirits and show that within the church you were protected from evil. The vital work to replace the figures and other historic stonework is being funded by the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund.

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