Long after selfies, Facebook and Twitter have been forgotten, in hundreds of years’ time, people will look up and admire two gargoyles on Ripon Cathedral, pieces of history inspired by schoolchildren in 2017.

Today’s children at primary schools across North Yorkshire and West Yorkshire are being given the opportunity to write themselves into history in a competition  launched by the cathedral  to design two new gargoyles to replace two severely decayed ones.

Their designs are due to be received by Ripon Cathedral by the end of March. Ten finalists will have their entries displayed as part of an exhibition culminating with a public vote from May 1 st until May 10th to select two winners. Stone carvers will go into the winners’ schools to finalise details of the designs. The gargoyles will then be carved and installed in early September, ready to take their place in history.

Scaffolding went up in January to enable work to start on replacing high level decayed stonework on the north east corner of the cathedral. Stone will also be replaced on the underside of some of the flying buttresses and  lead  drainpipes will be replaced by wider drainpipes to cope with the heavier downpours we get these days. This work, which will include repointing, will continue throughout the spring and summer as part of the second phase of the cathedral’s stone replacement programme  supervised by the architect Oliver Caroe, who is the fabric surveyor for both Ripon Cathedral and St Paul’s Cathedral. It is being funded by a £398,000 grant from the government’s First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund.

Last year phase one saw three gargoyles and stonework at a lower level on the north east corner replaced. This work won an award for craftsmanship from Ripon Civic Society.

To submit a design, please post it to:

Ripon Cathedral Offices,
Liberty Courthouse,
Minster Road,

Don’t forget to include the name of the child, their school and school year.