Miner gargoyle placed on Gloucester Cathedral roof

miner gargoyle placed on gloucester cathedral roof - Miner gargoyle placed on Gloucester Cathedral roofImage copyright Gloucester Cathedral
Image caption The kneeling miner, clutching a pick axe represents the “dogged determination” of the Forest of Dean freeminers

A new one tonne gargoyle of a shouting miner has joined a stone rugby player on the roof of Gloucester Cathedral.

The Freeminer is the second of six grotesque figures being placed high up on the north side of the building, as part of a £530,000 restoration scheme.

The metre-tall (3ft) figure, depicted clutching a pick axe, has been “built to last hundreds of years”.

The pair are due to be joined by four other new gargoyles including a cheese-roller, a jockey and a suffragette.

The six new stone gargoyles are being installed to protect one of the oldest parts of the cathedral, by channelling rain water from the roof away from the side of the building.

Image copyright Gloucester Cathedral
Image caption The gargoyle was installed using exactly the same method that would have been used in medieval times
Image copyright Gloucester Cathedral
Image caption However, cathedral stonemasons used a modern chain and tackle, rather than a rope and a wooden wheel

The new gargoyles – only the second to be installed in “living history” according to the cathedral – have been designed to represent the county’s six districts.

A cheese-chaser is the Tewkesbury gargoyle, marking the death-defying cheese-rolling races down Cooper’s Hill.

Cheltenham is represented by a tearful jockey grasping the Gold Cup, while the gargoyle inspired by suffragette Annie Kenney pays tribute to the forgotten women of the Stroud mills.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The new gargoyles are only the second to be installed in “living history” according to the cathedral

The miner gargoyle represents the “dogged determination” of the Forest of Dean freeminers “axing at the coal, to provide for their families”, the cathedral said.

Master mason Pascal Mychalysin, who designed the “iconic figures”, said he hoped their lively appearance would “spark the imaginations” of visitors.

“For the first time in 600 years, gargoyles are being lifted back to the top of the cathedral north side,” he said.

“Where they will once again grace the skyline with their fantastic shapes, gurgling out all the rainwater from the cathedral’s roofs.”

The remaining gargoyles are due to be installed in the coming months.

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