More about your Treasure The statue you found is St Peter. He is the patron saint of York Minster. The full legal title of York Minster is “The Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Saint Peter in York.” The Minster has been dedicated to St Peter ever since the first Minster was built in 627AD. His feast day is the 29th June. The statue itself dates from 1906. You will have found this detail on the Astronomical Clock. It shows the positions of the stars over York. The clock was made as a memorial to pilots and air crew who lost their lives in the Second World War, flying from bases in the North of England. They would have used the stars to help with their navigation at night.
The beautiful seated figure over the gateway into the Quire is of “Christ in Majesty”. This way of depicting Christ is often used and portrays him as the King of Heaven. On the Quire Screen this belief is reinforced by the fact that Christ is seated above the carved Kings of England from William I to Henry VI.
This detail is on the monument to Rear Admiral Christopher Craddock. He died when his ship HMS Good Hope was sunk in a naval battle during the first World War. At the time his bravery was considered heroic and he was even compared to the great Lord Nelson. However, had he survived he may have had to face a court martial for risking his squadron. Robert ‘Mousey’ Thompson was a Yorkshire based furniture maker. It is claimed that the mouse trademark came about accidentally in 1919 following a conversation about "being as poor as a church mouse". The mouse that you found is just one of many that are hiding in the Minster on furniture made by the family firm. Robert died in 1955, but the firm still bears his name.
More about your Treasure This carved roof boss depicts the ascension of Christ into Heaven. This is a copy of an original medieval boss and shows the bottom of Jesus' feet as he goes upwards into Heaven. The original boss and the entire Nave roof and vault were destroyed by a fire in 1840. Fortunately, only a few years earlier, an artist called John Brown had made very accurate drawings of the details in the Minster. Hopefully this wasn’t too difficult to find, although people we have asked think it is one of the trickiest. The figure is of Judas Maccabeus who was a famous warrior leader of the Jews before Jesus was born. That is why he is on this military monument. To be honest we asked you to find it because we loved the face! In the Bible John the Baptist referred to Jesus with the words “Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world”. This type of image on the roof boss you found is called an “Agnus Dei” and is a way of representing Jesus that has been used in art, glass carving and sculpture since the Middle Ages.
This roof boss was designed by Rebecca Rose Welsh when she was 6 years old as part of the 1986 Blue Peter competition held after the fire of 1984. In July 2009 a service was held to mark 25 years since the fire. We managed to trace some of the competition winners and they were invited to the service. If you want to know more about the fire find our 1984 Fire fact sheet in the “Resources “ section of the website. This lion is one of the feet of the eagle‐shaped lectern that holds the Bible in the Quire. Each day at Evensong the bible is read from it. For many years this lectern was in the Nave. It was originally given to the Minster by Thomas Cracroft in 1686. It is made of brass and is said to weigh over one tonne.
Published on Dec 2, 2009
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