Fox and tiger de­sign for city cathedral

Hinckley Times - - MARKETPLACE -

THE iconic fox and tiger sym­bols of the city’s fa­mous foot­ball and rugby teams – and county cricket team – are to be in­cor­po­rated into the stonework at Le­ices­ter Cathedral.

Work started in Jan­uary to re­place sec­tions of the build­ing where sand­stone used dur­ing pre­vi­ous re­pairs is start­ing to “flake”.

As part of the on­go­ing ren­o­va­tion, an artist has been com­mis­sioned to de­sign two new grotesques – gar­goyles but with­out the wa­ter spouts – to re­place two crum­bling gar­goyles.

A Le­ices­ter Cathedral spokesman said: “Work is con­tin­u­ing on the rou­tine re­place­ment of flak­ing sand­stone, which was sourced by the Vic­to­ri­ans from a quarry which is now West­ern Park, with bet­ter-qual­ity sand­stone.

“How­ever, work­men are also go­ing to be re­plac­ing two gar­goyles with two new grotesques – newly de­signed as a fox and tiger.”

Ir­ish artist Phoebe Cope was asked to cre­ate de­signs for the new grotesques, and the two plas­ter casts are in­cluded in an ex­hi­bi­tion of her work, cur­rently on view as part of a solo show at the Big­gar and Up­per Cly­des­dale Mu­seum, in South La­nark­shire, Scot­land.

The cathedral spokesman said: “We are de­lighted with the de­signs for the two new grotesques, de­pict­ing a fox and a tiger to res­onate with the city and county.

“It’s part of the work cur­rently hap­pen­ing on the south west cor­ner of the cathedral.”

The stonework re­place­ment work is be­ing car­ried out by Mid­land Stone­ma­sonry Ltd, based in Lough­bor­ough, and is due to be com­pleted by the end of the sum­mer.

It is be­ing funded by the First World War Cen­te­nary Cathedral Re­pairs Fund, a na­tional fund for cathe­drals, and the Headley Trust church build­ings fund, un­der the di­rec­tion of ar­chi­tect Josh McCosh, of Van Heynin­gen and Haward.

The Le­ices­ter Cathedral spokesman said: “We are very grate­ful to the First World War Cen­te­nary Cathedral Re­pairs Fund for £300,000, and the Headley Trust for an­other £35,000, which is help­ing to pay for the work.

“This work fol­lows on from stonework on the north end of the cathedral in 2016 and it is all a pre­cur­sor to the £11.3 mil­lion Le­ices­ter Cathedral Re­vealed work which we hope to be­gin next year.”

The Rev Pete Hob­son, di­rec­tor for the Re­vealed project, said the over­all aim was to put the build­ing “back into good or­der” and to re­store and re­veal its Vic­to­rian and Arts and Crafts her­itage.

He said it would cre­ate a se­ries of “ac­ces­si­ble and en­gag­ing spa­ces, bet­ter man­age visi­tor flow and im­prove the in­di­vid­ual experience of be­ing within the cathedral”.

It is set to be com­pleted by 2020.

Le­ices­ter Cathedral

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