Southwell is my favourite town in the county of Nottinghamshire by some distance. It has many places of interest and charm in its beautiful aspect and storied and historic environs.
The Minster dwarfs the centre and is barely commensurate with the reasonably modest acreage of Southwell. It is impressive, notable and loved.
The first time I recall visiting this impressive structure was as a child in school when it was a firm favourite for school educational visits. I recall being instructed to take brass rubbings and playing the game of trying to find where all the ‘church mice were. The interior has a number of ‘mice’ carved into and secreted about the building. In those days the West entrance shown to the left of the image above was most often used and is, as I understand, the oldest part of a building which was constructed in stages as so many older churches were.
Another story I find interesting regarding Southwell Minster is of its ‘Eagle Lectern’ which apparently at the time of Cromwellian distaste for Catholic tradition and imagery was disposed of unceremoniously. It was later discovered in a lake at Newstead Abbey, romantic poet Lord Byron’s stately home situated some miles away. The lectern was lovingly restored and stands proudly in the Minster.
I have visited numerous times over the years and grand though the building might be there is always a friendly and helpful welcome. There is no admission pay but you are kindly asked to make a small contribution by way of a donation.