Cathedral Treasures Competition – The Winner

10th February 2023

Let’s get straight to it. The winner of our Cathedral Treasures competition is The Leaves of Southwell.

The Leaves of Southwell – Southwell Minster – securing over one fifth of all the votes.

A total of 4,477 people took the time to vote for their favourite treasure from the top ten finalists in our campaign that showcased 50 remarkable treasures and glories cared for and preserved by cathedrals in England and the Church in Wales taken from the latest publication Deans’ Choice: Cathedral Treasures of England and Wales by Janet Gough, OBE, author, lecturer and advisor on historic churches and cathedrals.

The top three were:
1st, The Leaves of Southwell
2nd, The Nave Ceiling at Peterborough Cathedral
3rd, Derby Cathedral’s Bakewell Screen.

And fast on their heels and coming in very close together with just a handful of votes separating them were Ely’s Prior’s Door and the Astronomical Clock at Wells.

The Dean of Southwell, the Very Revd Nicola Sullivan said:

“Southwell is bursting with pride to hear that the exquisite  ‘Leaves’ have won amidst the fierce competition from all of England and Wales beautiful cathedral treasures.  These extraordinary carvings have given glory to God’s beautiful and abundant creation for over seven centuries and still thrill us today. Thank you to everyone who supported us.”   

Janet Gough, whose latest volume inspired the campaign said:

The 1290s Leaves of Southwell are a brilliant first choice in the Cathedral Treasures competition – where leaves, animals and human heads are deeply and exuberantly carved on the capitals and elsewhere in the chapter house at Southwell Minster.

“It has been wonderful to see so many people engage with and get passionate about our Cathedral Treasures.

“As Simon Heffer noted in the Daily Telegraph on New Year’s Eve, cathedrals aren’t just buildings they are treasure houses and should not be overlooked as museums.’

Deans’ Choice: Cathedral Treasures of England and Wales tells the story of the treasures from 44 Church of England cathedrals and six cathedrals from the Church in Wales, each one chosen by the Dean or senior clergy of the cathedral featured.

You can buy a copy for just £14.95 here.

Together the treasures span over 1,000 years of history with the earliest treasure, Ripon Cathedral’s ancient crypt of St Wilfrid established in 672 AD, the oldest building of any English cathedral still in use today, to the newest, the Newport Cathedral Rood, a modern work of art by Singaporean artist Tay Swee Siong that was installed in 2020.

We revealed one treasure every day for 50 days throughout Advent, we whittled them down to just ten based on the likes, shares and engagement throughout this social media campaign and launched a competition to find Britain’s favourite cathedral treasure from those top ten.

All participants in the competition go into a random draw this Friday to be in with the chance to win one of three copies of Deans’ Choice: Cathedral Treasures of England and Wales.