Kent

Canterbury Cathedral stone goes under hammer

Stonework to be auctioned
Image caption The stonework was removed during restoration of the Great South Window

Stone removed from Canterbury Cathedral during restoration of a 15th Century window is to be sold at auction.

More than 140 pieces will be sold, some large enough for garden ornaments and smaller pieces that can go in a home.

Heather Newton, head of conservation, said successful bidders would own of a piece of history - the cathedral is mother church of the Anglican Communion and part of a World Heritage Site.

The proceeds will go to the future conservation of the cathedral.

Many of the pieces date back to when the Great South Window was built and show the carvings and markings of stonemasons who have worked on the window over the centuries.

Image caption Pieces show the carvings and markings of stonemasons over centuries

David Parker, from Canterbury Auction Galleries which is running the sale for the cathedral for no fee, said: "We're very conscious about there being something for everybody's pocket from £100 for a pair of bookends to a classical piece of Gothic architecture."

Much of the Gothic-style window - which is 52ft (16m) high and 23ft (7m) wide - had to be rebuilt after crumbling stonework revealed serious structural problems.

Ms Newton said: "A stone fell on to the south path which is one of the main access routes in and out of the cathedral.

"Fortunately, it didn't hit anybody, but immediately we had to barrier off the area and realise that we had some serious problems to deal with."

Viewing will take place on 17 and 18 September and on 24 September, the day of the sale.

Image copyright Canterbury Cathedral
Image caption The stained glass in the Great South Window depicts seated patriarchs from the Old Testament

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