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Southwell Minster Cathedral 140 Exhibition to explore Georgian Southwell, Byron and Bramley Apples in July





As part of an exhibition celebrating its 140th year as a cathedral, Southwell Minster has delved into its Georgian history.

Southwell Minster — which throughout 2024 is marking 140 years since it achieved cathedral status — is a hidden gem in a uniquely rural setting.

Throughout July the Minster 140 exhibition will explore the changing landscape of Southwell and Nottinghamshire in the 1700s and 1800s and how the Georgians flocked to the beautiful town.

Thomas Girtin's watercolour
Thomas Girtin's watercolour

The church’s special ten-month exhibition, will explore over 1,000 years of history in 140 objects.

This month’s objects, under the exhibition title ‘Transforming Times: Town and County, 1700s and 1800s’, will allow visitors to learn all about the Great Fire of 1711 when lightning struck the Minster, causing a fire which nearly destroyed it, all on Guy Fawkes night.

They will also explore links to Newstead Abbey, Byron, The Workhouse, Wollaton Hall and the locked down plague village of Eyam.

William Mompesson of Eyam's Flagon.
William Mompesson of Eyam's Flagon.
A flash of lightning on Guy Fawkes Night caused a fire at the Minster.
A flash of lightning on Guy Fawkes Night caused a fire at the Minster.

Visitors can find out all about the artists Thomas Girtin and J.M.W Turner visiting Southwell and view Girtin’s Minster landscape — and also discover more about the world’s most famous cooking apple, the Bramley.

Sarah Clemson, visitor and volunteer services officer, said: “Southwell was a vibrant place to be. Byron, Turner, Girtin and of course the Bramley Apple. There was so much happening in this period both here and in the county. You can also see our story so far as we prepare to become a Cathedral in 1884.”

Objects on display include the Bramley window, the Newstead Abbey lectern, Mompesson of Eyam's Flagon and a King's Messenger Badge.

The Bramley Apple tree.
The Bramley Apple tree.
The Bramley Apple window.
The Bramley Apple window.

An online gallery of previous months’ objects, can be found on the Minster website.

Previous months have explored music, nature and heaven, the building of the Norman church, Roman items, medieval life and worship, and religion and politics.

Southwell Minster
Southwell Minster
Southwell Minster is celebrating 140 years of Cathedral status.
Southwell Minster is celebrating 140 years of Cathedral status.

Entrance to the exhibition is free but donations are welcome as the cathedral is aiming to raise £140,000 throughout the year to help keep the buildings and garden open and free.



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