Gloucester Stone Carving Festival returns to Llanthony Secunda Priory August Bank Holiday weekend (25-27 August).
Carrie Horwood of Cat’s Eye Carving is once again working with the Llanthony Secunda Priory Trust to stage the Gloucester Stone Carving Festival this year on Aughust bank holiday weekend (25-27 August).
This year’s event is taking place on all three days of the holiday, culminating in a grand live auction on Bank Holiday Monday at 1.30pm. Professional auctioneer Mark Stafford Lovatt is running the auction, which will be held in the newly restored medieval brick range at the Priory.
There are 20 stonemasons taking part. They will carve magical, mythical creatures out of Cotswold limestone. The pieces of stone measuring 200 x 200 x 300mm have been donated by Veizeys quarry in Tetbury.
Carrie Horwood is a stonemason who started running these stone festivals in 2008 at Harts Barn in Longhope. Her aim was to raise money for charity and to raise the profile of stonemasonry as "a wonderful historic craft", as she says.
In 2013 Carrie moved the event to the Llanthony Secunda Priory in Gloucester. On that occasion the money raised by the auction was divided between Gloucester Geology trust and the Priory Trust. In 2015 Carrie returned with her festival to delight the crowds once more and show off not only her own skill but that of 24 other stonemasons taking part. Carrie donates one of her own carvings as the raffle prize in an effort to raise money to help pay for the event. In 2013 it was a mermaid to tie in with the nautical theme. In 2015 it was an Elephant, as the theme was wild animals. This year has carved Demeter the Greek Goddess of Harvest & Grain.
This year, 90% of the auction money will go to the Llanthony Secunda Priory Trust and 10% will go to the Samaritans.
This year is particularly important as the Llanthony Secunda Priory Trust were successful in their 2015 lottery bid that enabled them to carry out a restoration programme now coming to an end. Carrie’s festival heralds the coming of a new era in this historic site’s colourful history. Click here to find out more about the priory.
Alongside the carving this year there will be pop up shops, activities and demonstrations and the Priory trust will be giving tours of the newly restored buildings.
The event will be open to the public from 10am to 5pm on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th, and then 10am to 3pm on the 27th, Bank Holiday Monday. There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony as the site is officially opened after its renovation and a prize giving for the top three carvings before the auction at 1.30pm. To fnish, the raffle will be drawn.
You will be able to come and watch the carvers working, Gloucester Geology Trust and the Newport Ship Trust will be there running activities and answering questions. Some members of the Forgotten Skills group will be demonstrating and selling their creations. There will also be an opportunity to have a go at stone carving and buy beautiful creations of jewellery by Helen.
The event is free to enter but some of the activities will charge or ask for donations.
Severn cider will be running a full bar, Isabel’s Bakehouse will be selling crepes, tea and coffee and there will be live music from Banshee, a Ceilidh band.