Peterborough Cathedral's wooden nave ceiling makes it to Cathedral Treasures top ten in competition

Peterborough Cathedral nave ceilingPeterborough Cathedral nave ceiling
Peterborough Cathedral nave ceiling
Peterborough Cathedral has made it to the final of a competition to find Britain’s favourite cathedral treasure.

Launched this week to mark national Heritage Treasures Day (January 11), the Association of English Cathedrals (AEC) has launched a competition to find the best loved treasure based on their #CathedralTreasures winter campaign.

And Peterborough Cathedral’s unique painted wood nave ceiling, which dates from around 1238 and is unique in England, has made it into the top ten.

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Although the ceiling (one of only four in Europe) has been repainted or restored twice, it still follows the original thirteenth century vivid pattern and bold design. The lozenge shapes down the middle enclose images of abbots, bishops and kings, the liberal arts, and St Peter himself.

The rows on either side feature religious images alongside strange symbols such as a monkey riding backwards on a goat, a donkey playing a harp, and a dancing lion. Whilst many of these forms may seem random or whimsical, Dr Jonathan Foyle has suggested that some of them are in fact part of a political polemic on the nature of good government.

The campaign was based on the latest volume by Janet Gough, OBE, author, lecturer and advisor on historic churches and cathedrals, called Deans’ Choice: Cathedral Treasures of England and Wales.

The volume tells the story of 50 treasures from 44 Church of England cathedrals and six cathedrals from the Church in Wales - each one was chosen by the Dean or senior clergy of the cathedral featured.

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The AEC shared these 50 remarkable treasures across their social media platforms over 50 days and ten treasures have made it to the final – determined by the number of likes, shares, and engagements throughout the campaign.

Participants must choose just one and leave their name and email address to be in with the chance to win one of three copies of Janet’s book chosen in a random draw at the end of the competition next month. The other cathedrals with shortlisted treasures are Lichfield, Gloucester, Ely, Wells, Canterbury, Southwell, Winchester, Christchurch and Derby.