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The Leaves





Day event: Exploring the Leaves

 March 2nd, 2019


Important news! Southwell Minster has been awarded a £1.9m National Lottery Heritage Fund grant towards the implementation of plans that seek to conserve and celebrate the internationally renowned Leaves...

"the leaves of Southwell assume a significance as one of the purest symbols of Western thought surviving in Britain"

Nikolaus Pevsner

The Leaves of Southwell, 1945


Summer Update

June 2019 - National Lottery

Heritage Fund £1.9m announced

Southwell Minster has been awarded a £1.9million National Lottery Heritage Fund grant towards the implementation of plans that seek to conserve and celebrate the internationally renowned Leaves of Southwell. These 13th century naturalistic carvings are amongst the finest in Europe and have long been a source of inspiration to artists and writers. The project aims to enable more people to visit and enjoy the Leaves, the Minster and its environs and to secure the fabric of the building.


The wide-ranging scheme includes the renewal of the main east roof and the stabilisation of the Chapter House environment to preserve the stonework. Lighting of the Chapter House will be introduced for the first time together with under floor heating. Accessibility is at the heart of the project and a cantilever lifting platform will help visitors with mobility issues into the passageway leading to the Chapter House. Improved external lighting will make the western paths and main north porch much more useable and welcoming in dark or inclement weather.  


Updated publications will offer new interpretations of the Leaves and the Minster. The Education Garden, which already offers a place of health and wellbeing, will be doubled in size enabling the growth of the plant species seen in the Chapter House. This will build on the success of a previous collaboration with The National Lottery Heritage Fund and, in addition, an outdoor classroom will be a focus for education activities. 


The Dean of Southwell, the Very Revd Nicola Sullivan said, “This is a thrilling opportunity for us to engage with new and diverse audiences – including National Lottery players who have made this grant possible. Southwell Minster is Nottinghamshire’s cathedral and its most loved building.  It is a wonderful educational resource to visitors from far and near.” 

The Canon Chancellor, Nigel Coates, who leads the project, notes that “The Leaves of Southwell are hugely significant as part of our artistic heritage but also have so much to teach us about the need to treasure the natural world. The project will ensure future generations continue to be inspired by the Leaves of Southwell.”


Anne Jenkins, Director, England: Midlands & East, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: "The Leaves of Southwell are undeniably fine examples of 13th century carvings, and thanks to National Lottery players they will be seen by wider and more diverse audiences. We are delighted that inclusion is at the heart of this project and invaluable training will be provided for staff at Southwell Minster to ensure that everyone feels welcome and has the best experience when they visit."


Learn more about the Leaves'   creation and place in history. Watch content from our latest conference of specialists, enthusiasts... 


We're an HLF supported project working to safeguard the Leaves. Through preservation and fresh interpretation ...


Find out how you can get involved with the project whether it's through giving your time or financial support.

Help secure the leaves
for future generations...

Large or small, every contribution is invaluable.

 Give today and become a custodian of the future.

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Telephone:         01636-817993

Minster Centre 
Church Street
NG25 0HD


© 2019 Southwell Minster. Built by Taskscape Media

© various images: Taskscape Media,  Southwell Minster: Richard Jarvis, Paul Barker, Simon Bull

We're a Heritage Lottery Funded project working to safeguard the unique,  

internationally significant 'Leaves of Southwell'. Through preservation and fresh interpretation we hope to secure the future of the leaves and bring  this  wonder of medieval craftsmanship to more people.