Wood that survived Minster blaze to be sold to highest bidder

FOR SALE: A face is just about visible in this original boss from York Minster's South Transept roof .

ON FIRE: York Minster ablaze on July 9, 1984.

First published in News

REMNANTS of a blaze that shocked the nation 30 years ago are to go on sale to the public.

Charred timbers from the York Minster fire of 1984 are going under the hammer for the first time to help pay for future works at the great cathedral.

The blackened 14th-century oak from the South Transept includes a number of bosses – carved wooden ‘hubs’ where the ribs of the vaulted ceiling met – as well as pieces of the roof itself.

Some of the bosses still contain original paint and gilt-work alongside charred edges, whilst smaller pieces of wood have been specially branded with the York Minster logo as a sign of their authenticity.

The remains will be sold during the Minster’s annual stoneyard auction when pieces of stone that have been removed and replaced during conservation works are up for grabs.

“Images of flames licking out of the roof of the South Transept have been widely used as we marked the 30th anniversary of the fire,” said superintendent of works Rebecca Thompson.

“So it seemed appropriate now to bring out some of the timbers that we have had in storage for three decades and make them available for people to buy.”

In total, about 100 items are expected to be auctioned, with a number of smaller pieces of stone and wood available for fixed prices.

Last year’s stone auction raised a total of just over £20,000 with prices ranging from around £20 to £1,400 for a weathered grotesque.

All the items included in the sale will go on display in Dean’s Park on August 14 from 2pm to 7.30pm, and again on August 15 from 10am to noon. The auction itself takes place at 12.30pm on August 15.

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