Gloucester’s stonemasons’ workshop, historically known as the Workshop of St Peter, is one of only ten attached to Cathedrals in England and they are incredibly proud of the centuries-long tradition of craftsmanship that it has given rise to.
A gifted team of stonemasons are privileged and honoured to follow this tradition, stepping up to the many challenges that come with looking after this magnificent building. Their work is crucial to ensure the Cathedral remains in the best possible condition for generations to come, and all listed buildings around the Cathedral grounds fall under their care. As a result, their day-to-day work is hugely varied. The Cathedral is about to embark upon a large capital works scheme on their cloisters and organ
Meet an Apprentice at Gloucester Cathedral:
“I have recently been working on a carving of a ball and finial. The original ball and finial were badly damaged and had split into several pieces. Like a jigsaw I put the pieces together again as best I could so that I could take measurements. The stone of the finial base had also weathered away quite a lot which made it difficult to know exactly what the original shape would have been. I had to use the highest points left on the stone as a guide. Piecing all this information together I managed to draw the setting out for the ball and finial as it would have been originally. Now I could make templates which I could use to carve the replacement ball and finial base. I had never taken measurements from an old stone before, so I found it quite challenging, but this only makes it more satisfying when you finish it.
I am currently working on carving the ball. When faced with a square block of stone it can feel quite daunting, how do you get a round ball from this? However, using the circle template I made I marked up the stone. First you work the block into a cylinder shape by essentially working the edges off until there are no edges left and you have a perfectly round cylinder. If I take these same steps and apply them the other way to the cylinder this will eventually turn the cylinder into a sphere. Once I have finished
the ball, I will move onto the finial base and eventually it will be fixed in place as one finished piece.”