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School passes on minster view

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A large reproduction of an engraving of Southwell Minster is to be restored.

The picture, which measures around 10ft by 4ft, was found in the technology department at the old Minster School, Southwell, in July while the school was preparing to move to its new buildings.

The head of history at the school, Mr David Birkett, contacted a town councillor, Mr Roger Dobson, to ask if they wanted the picture called South East View Of Southwell.

The council chairman, Mrs Beryl Prentice said: “Mr Birkett said the school didn’t have a use for it and wondered if the council did.

“If we hadn’t rescued it, it would have been consigned to the rubbish and there is obviously quite some history to it.”

Mrs Prentice said that the council hoped to find out more about the picture.

“The school didn’t know anything about it because the picture had just been hidden away somewhere for such a long time,” she said.

Town councillor Mr Brendan Haigh said he had an original print of the picture and believes the engraving was done in the late 1700s.

“I think the original engraving was done for a book so the picture is just a much enlarged version of that,” he said.

“I think it was probably done in the late 18th Century because the minster still has its original steeples on the towers. They were removed in 1801 and replaced at a later date.”

The council clerk, Carol Standish, said the restoration of the picture would cost around £200.

“It has been damaged by condensation running down it,” she said. “We couldn’t clean it ourselves because it would damage the surface of the picture.

“We know the picture is of an old engraving of the minster but we have no idea where the original engraving is. The size of the picture is quite unusual.”

Once the picture is restored it will hang in the court room of the Old Court House, which is used by the town council.

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